Act now to claim dormant funds

Recent legislation changes have been made which affects how the Court Funds Office (CFO) holds dormant funds. From 1 June 2024 any account that has been held dormant within the CFO for 30 years or more will be surrendered and any future right to claim the funds will be extinguished. Funds are classified as dormant if they have been held by CFO for an extended period, with no activity on the account, and any efforts to trace the intended beneficiary have been unsuccessful.

There is now less than one month remaining to claim funds that have been held dormant by CFO for 30 years or more before the funds will be surrendered and any future right to claim will be extinguished.

Following this initial deadline entitled people will still be able to claim any account that has been held by CFO for less than 30 years as normal, but any account that subsequently reaches 30 years of dormancy will be surrendered on the date that this milestone is passed.

What are dormant funds?

There are a range of reasons why CFO hold funds including, but not limited to, the following:

  • damages that were awarded to children as a result of civil legal action in a county court in England, Wales, or the High Court of Justice;
  • assets belonging to people who lack capacity to manage their own financial affairs and where the Court of Protection has appointed someone else to do so; or
  • pending settlements of civil court action, or on behalf of dissenting shareholders, widows, and other clients.

If you believe that you, or someone you are responsible for, may be eligible to claim an account held by the CFO for 30 years or more then the time to act is now.

How to make a claim

You can search the online database on GOV.UK. Alternatively, you can contact CFO enquiries direct. The online database will contain information such as the case name, the date the account was opened as well as the final date when the account will be eligible to claim.

If you are successful in locating an account which you believe you are eligible to claim through the online database, you will be directed to contact the Court Funds Office. CFO will then direct you to the relevant court to make a claim, if you can provide evidence which links you to the account.

If you submit a claim to the relevant court for an account which is within 12 months of the last claim date shown on the online database, you must then inform CFO. This will allow CFO to ensure that any accounts with ongoing claims will not be surrendered. You will need to provide the title of the account, court case number, account number and the date you submitted the claim to court. This information should be provided via email to UCM-claiminprogress@cfo.gov.uk or by phone to CFO on 0300 0200 199.

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