Escheat and Bona Vacantia


Since feudal times, Jersey’s land law has been based on a system of tenure. A freeholder is not an absolute owner but a ‘tenant in fee simple’ holding from his Seigneur as lord of the land in question. The Seigneur is often referred to as the lord of a manor.

Whenever a ‘tenancy in fee simple’ comes to an end, the land in question may become reverted back to state ownership (known as escheat). In this scenario, the Seigneur becomes entitled to take possession of it, according to the Seigneurial Rights (Abolition) (Jersey) Law 1966.

Land, and any buildings thereon, in Jersey will escheat to the Crown if:

  • a person being a freeholder dies intestate (without leaving a will) and with no legal heir as defined by the Wills and Successions (Jersey) Law 1993
  • a company being a freeholder is dissolved without first disposing of its interest

The term escheat is now often applied to moveable property but this is not strictly correct. In these notes moveable property is dealt with as bona vacantia.

Bona Vacantia

The term bona vacantia literally means “vacant goods” and is the legal name for all ownerless property, which is claimed by the Crown. The Crown’s claim to bona vacantia arises in Jersey by virtue of the Royal Prerogative — that is, at common law.

Moveable property, including interests in land and buildings as something other than freeholder, will become Bona Vacantia if:

  • the owner dies intestate (without leaving a will) and with no legal heir as defined by the Wills and Successions (Jersey) Law 1993
  • the owner, being a company or other legal entity, is dissolved without first disposing of its interest


HM Receiver General will charge a fee for the recovery, holding and distribution of Bona Vacantia assets. The fee is calculated in accordance with the guidelines laid down by HM Treasury Solicitor (BVD) and is as follows:-

5% of the value of the assets transferred to HM Receiver General, or the interest earned whilst the assets are under the administration of HM Receiver General or £500 whichever is the greater.

Holding of Foreign Currencies

HM Receiver General holds accounts in most major currencies. However, due to banking constraints, amounts received in minor currencies or below the equivalent of £20,000 at the time of receipt will be converted into pounds sterling.

Deutsche Bank Employee Share Scheme (or ‘Equity Plan’)

Deutsche Bank has announced previously that it is winding-down its operations in Jersey during 2019. As part of that process, Deutsche Bank has transferred to HM Receiver General certain custody assets that it held for former employees (the “Former Employees”) who were awarded shares under the Deutsche Bank Employee Share Scheme (the “Assets”). This followed the Royal Court of Jersey providing its blessing on 18 March 2020 of the transfer of the Assets to HM Receiver General.

HM Receiver General has agreed to hold the Assets for a period of 15 years from the date on which he receives them from Deutsche Bank, at the end of which title in the Assets will pass absolutely to the Crown. As the Assets are being transferred by Deutsche Bank in stages, the 15 year period will expire on different dates for different Assets – the first of those 15 year periods (which applies to the substantial majority of the Assets) will expire on 30th April 2035.

Anyone who believes that they have a claim should contact HM Receiver General at the address below before the end of the said 15 year period. Upon a Former Employee’s identity being verified, HM Receiver General will arrange for their Assets to be returned to them.”

Unclaimed personal estates

The table below includes all unclaimed personal estates notified to HM Receiver General since 1st January 2010 updated 30th June 2020.

RG Ref Date Surname Forename(s) Date of Death Place of Death Date of Birth Place of Birth
20-05 15/01/2020 Ahluwalia Rajesh 16/09/2012 England 30/03/1963 India
ZJPL94 23/03/2016 Beck Edwina 14/11/2011 Jersey 02/11/1921 Essex, England
19-101 08/11/2019 Botelho Almorinda 16/04/2005 Jersey Unknown Unknown
ZJPD07 23/03/2016 Canavan Paul 14/03/2014 Jersey 14/04/1964 Jersey
19-103 18/12/2019 Chatel William Ernest 21/03/2019 Jersey 14/02/1937 Jersey
13-06 08/02/2013 Cowan Athol Ernest 04/10/2010 England Unknown Unknown
13-10 14/10/2013 Cox Kenneth Edward 29/03/2010 England Unknown Unknown
15-37 20/07/2015 Dale Charles Peter Robert 25/03/2015 Jersey 02/04/1940 Eccles, England
15-71 25/11/2015 Davies Margaret Mary 15/06/2014 England 04/08/1925 Glossop, England
ZJPL07 23/03/2016 Davison Barbara 30/09/2007 Jersey 26/07/1939 Jersey
15-38 04/08/2015 England Clarice Edith Lydia 25/07/1998 Jersey 05/01/1918 Jersey
20-06 15/01/2020 Hercik Lilian Yvonne 14/09/2006 France Unknown Unknown
ZJPS58 23/03/2016 Howard Kenneth 25/07/2011 Jersey 08/02/1949 Lancashire, England
ZJQL10 23/03/2016 Jean Doreen 01/02/2013 Jersey 31/08/1932 Jersey
12-21 03/05/2012 Jonker Arthur Hans 25/11/2011 England 05/10/1933 Netherlands
19-51 08/04/2019 Kenshole Hilda Enid Margaret 21/06/1989 Jersey Unknown Unknown
ZJPS14 23/03/2016 McKenzie Pamela Lesley 27/02/2009 Jersey 28/02/1927 Portsmouth, England
ZJQO33 23/03/2016 O’Connor Charles 26/05/2012 Jersey 03/09/1927 Jersey
ZJPL83 23/03/2016 Saidubreil Jean 24/02/2011 Jersey 30/11/1945 Fougeres, France
ZJQM19 23/03/2016 Sewell Derek 21/09/2012 Jersey 30/10/1929 Jersey
19-42 18/03/2019 Scully Aldwyn Percival 25/02/2018 Jersey 24/03/1940 Newport, Wales
ZJPL70 23/03/2016 Sweet Phyllis 22/05/2010 Jersey 13/05/1920 Jersey
ZJPS39 23/03/2016 Turner James 22/10/2011 Jersey 28/07/1938 Uxbridge, England
ZJPL86 23/03/2016 Walters Myra 01/02/2011 Jersey 21/12/1919 West Midlands, England
18-40 19/06/2018 Williams Anthony John 21/06/2017 Jersey 01/09/1944 York, England

To make a claim contact:

Her Majesty’s Receiver General for Jersey
Office of the Lieutenant-Governor
St Saviour’s Hill
Channel Islands

Phone: +44 (0) 1534 441702

Email HM Receiver General

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