What is Bona Vacantia?
If someone dies intestate (without a will) and without known kin, their property (of any kind, including land, buildings and money) passes to the Crown as bona vacantia (ownerless property). If a dissolved company still owns assets (including property and cash balances) at its dissolution, these also pass to the Crown as bona vacantia where they are not held on trust.
What is Escheat?
Where there is a bankruptcy or a winding up of a company, property is sometimes disclaimed (given up) if it is thought to be onerous. If the property disclaimed is freehold land, the property will normally escheat (return) to the Crown Estate or the Royal Duchies depending on where the freehold property is situated. Freehold property belonging to an overseas dissolved company may also escheat to the Crown.
You will either be seeking to contact us because you have disclaimed freehold property or freehold property belonging to a dissolved foreign company, or you will have been informed by a professional that the property you are interested in is subject to escheat.