So a lady approached me following a rumor that her father had billions hiding somewhere. She knew I did law and representing her in claiming the hidden money won’t be an issue. “Can I trust you with this? I would like my father’s property transferred to the family.” She was determined. Now, I knew nothing about unclaimed financial assets (ufaa) and the fact that it was a rumor, confused me. Well, lawyers are supposed to know everything, so my mind perused through the whole Constitution and the Law of Succession – nothing. I had to act smart and use fancy words to look bright so I chose a few Latin words from Jurisprudence and explained things I don’t even know – she nodded and liked whatever stuff I told her – I got the case.
Today in the morning, I came across Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority (ufaa) website. I had no idea the authority existed. The authority is required by law to put into custody any unclaimed asset if the records of the holder do not reflect the identity of the person entitled to the assets, the holder has not previously paid or delivered the assets to the apparent owner or other person entitled to the assets and the last known address, as shown on the records of the holder of the apparent owner is in a country that does not provide by law for the escheat or custodial taking of the assets or its escheat or unclaimed assets law is not applicable to the assets and the holder is domiciled in Kenya.
The Authority has been given clear functions by the law. Section 41 of the Unclaimed Financial Assets Act provides that the authority shall enforce, and generally administer the provisions of the Unclaimed Financial Assets Act, act as the Trustee to the Fund, receive all payments made to the Fund, make payments out of the Fund to the rightful owners, manage and invest the funds of the Authority, advise the Cabinet Secretary on the national policy to be followed with regard to unclaimed assets and to implement all government policies relating to it.
Currently, the authority has over 5 billion of unclaimed assets. The law gives the authority the power to pay out the unclaimed assets. In section 44, the Act stipulates that where the Authority is satisfied that a person is the owner of all or part of the assets that became unclaimed assets and paid into the Fund, the Authority may pay out of the Fund to the owner an amount equal to the value of that assets or part of that assets as the case may be.
In addition, no interest or other earning accrues or is payable to an owner in respect of the period after assets becomes unclaimed assets and delivered to the Authority. A payment made to an owner shall discharge the Authority from liability to the owner in respect of the assets that became unclaimed assets and were actually paid into the Fund.
If you want to check if your parents or grandparents have some unclaimed assets, visit Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority (ufaa)
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