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This Act has "Not in Force" sections. See the Table of Legislative Changes.

Estates of Missing Persons Act

[RSBC 1996] CHAPTER 123

Contents
1Definition
2Court may appoint curator
3Powers of curator
4Sale of property
5Disposition of money
6Actions by and against curator
7Removal of curator and appointment of new curator
8Power to vary orders
9Discharge of curator on termination of office
10Effect of filing order in land title office
11Effect of appointment on powers of attorney
12Repealed

Definition

1  In this Act, "missing person" includes

(a) a person whose relatives residing at the place where the person was last known to reside, and who would be likely to hear from the person, have not heard from or of the person for at least 3 months last past, and have been unable to ascertain the person's whereabouts,

(b) if the person does not have relatives of the kind described in paragraph (a), a person whose

(i) associates at the place where the person was last known to reside, and

(ii) relatives with whom until then the person had been in the habit of communicating,

have not heard from or of the person for a period of at least 3 months last past and have been unable to ascertain the person's whereabouts, and

(c) a person who has been missing for a shorter period than 3 months, but who is otherwise a missing person within the meaning of paragraph (a) or (b), and who is declared by the Supreme Court to be a missing person, on application, accompanied by evidence to the satisfaction of the court that there is urgent need of a curator being appointed under this Act for the preservation of the estate or the support of the dependants of that person.

Court may appoint curator

2  (1) The Supreme Court may appoint a person to be curator of the property or any part of the property of a person if it is satisfied on an application that

(a) the person is a missing person within the meaning of this Act,

(b) the missing person owns or is interested in property in British Columbia, and

(c) it is expedient that a curator be appointed to manage, preserve, deal with or dispose of any or all of the property.

(2) On the application the court may do one or more of the following:

(a) even if notice has not been given to anyone, make an order;

(b) set a date for the hearing of the application;

(c) direct that notice of the application be given to persons it thinks expedient;

(d) direct that notice be given personally or by publication.

(3) The court must appoint the public guardian and trustee as curator in all cases except if it is proved to the satisfaction of the court that some other fit and proper person would be a more desirable curator because of

(a) the business or personal relationship of the other person to the missing person, or

(b) any other facts or circumstances.

(4) The curator is an officer of the court and subject to its control and supervision.

(5) The order appointing a curator may impose terms, as to security or otherwise, and restrictions and conditions as the court thinks proper.

Powers of curator

3  (1) In respect of the property of the missing person or the part of it to which the appointment applies, and subject to this Act and the terms and restrictions of the appointment, a curator has the same powers of dealing with the property as the missing person would have if that person were present.

(2) Acts done by the curator after his or her appointment in respect of the property are binding on the missing person and the heirs, personal representatives and assignees of the missing person.

(3) The custody and management of the property of a missing person is a trust.

(4) The curator is a trustee within the meaning of sections 88, 89, 91, 96, 98 and 100 of the Trustee Act and those sections apply to a curator appointed under this Act.

Sale of property

4  Except with the prior approval of the Supreme Court, a curator appointed under this Act has no power to sell or mortgage any of the property of the missing person to which the appointment applies if the value of the portion of the property to be sold or the amount to be raised by mortgage exceeds $100.

Disposition of money

5  A curator appointed under this Act must use and dispose of the money coming into the curator's hands from the property of the missing person as directed by the Supreme Court.

Actions by and against curator

6  (1) With the approval of the Supreme Court, a curator may sue and be sued in respect of the property of the missing person or a portion of it to which the appointment applies.

(2) In any action it is not necessary for the curator to prove the continued existence or mental capacity of the missing person.

Removal of curator and appointment of new curator

7  (1) On the application of any person, the Supreme Court may remove from office a curator appointed under this Act, and may appoint any other person to be curator instead.

(2) The order appointing a new curator may limit or vary the restrictions already imposed or impose new restrictions.

(3) The person removed from office must at once submit to the court a true inventory and account of the property which has come into the person's hands or under the person's control by reason of the appointment and of the person's dealings with it.

(4) The court may discharge the retiring curator on the passing of accounts under the provisions for the passing of accounts of trustees under the Trustee Act.

(5) The new curator has the same rights and powers as if appointed as the original curator.

Power to vary orders

8  The Supreme Court may vary an order made by it under this Act.

Discharge of curator on termination of office

9  If the person ceases to be a missing person, or on the issue of a representation grant, the Supreme Court, on application to it, and on the accounts of the curator being passed in accordance with the provisions for the passing of accounts of trustees under the Trustee Act, may discharge the curator appointed under this Act in respect of the property of the person.

Effect of filing order in land title office

10  An office copy of the order appointing a curator or other order made under this Act is, when filed in any land title office, sufficient evidence to the Registrar of Titles of the authority of the curator to deal with the property as mentioned in it.

Effect of appointment on powers of attorney

11  On the appointment of a curator of the property or part of the property of a missing person, all authority given by the missing person before the person's disappearance in respect of the property or part of it, whether by power of attorney or otherwise, is immediately cancelled and void, but nothing in this Act invalidates any act done by any person under authority from the missing person up to the time of that person learning of the appointment of the curator.

Repealed

12  [Repealed 2010-6-19.]