Unclaimed money frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Claiming - What unclaimed money is not collected by the Public Trustee?
- unclaimed money held by banks, credit unions, building societies and friendly societies
- unclaimed life insurance policies
- money belonging to deregistered companies
- unclaimed money from compulsory share acquisitions.
Claiming - How do I find out if I have any unclaimed money?
For information on how to find out if you have any unclaimed money, please follow the instructions.
Claiming - If I find that I have unclaimed money, what is the process to obtain this money?
If you have found money you think may belong to you, you can download a claim form. Post the completed form to us with the required attachments.
Claiming - Are you holding my lost superannuation?
The Public Trustee holds some superannuation for people who have reached the retirement age of 65 years. To search for any lost superannuation, just follow the instructions.Since 2007, the Australian Tax Office (ATO) holds all superannuation for people who have:
- reached the retirement age of 65 years records of people who have not yet reached the retirement age
- and who have not touched their superannuation for many years.
Please contact the ATO to see if they hold your unclaimed superannuation.
I have received a letter from a money finding agency; do I have to apply through them to claim my unclaimed money?
The choice is yours. You may proceed with the agency or alternatively if you have not signed an agreement with the agency, you may like to lodge your own claim with the Public Trustee.
If I lodge a claim, what type of supporting evidence is required?
All documents must be certified copies. The website and application form explains in detail what evidence is required. Please note that we are unable to process claims that are incomplete..
Claiming - Are there other resources to search for unclaimed money that are not managed by the Public Trustee?
Yes. Each state holds unclaimed money, therefore your unclaimed funds could be held in another state.
Claiming - What if a relative or next of kin is deceased and they have unclaimed money owing to them?
If the owner of the funds is deceased, their executor may claim the funds on behalf of the deceased estate. A certified copy of Probate must be included in the claim. We will let the claimant know if there is any further information required.
The Public Trustee Act 1978 requires that an Accountable Person shall pay unclaimed money to the Public Trustee. In addition, other Queensland legislation requires Accountable Persons holding unclaimed money are to pay the money to the Public Trustee. This legislation includes:
- Trust Accounts Act 1973
- Local Government Act 1993
- Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008
- Pawnbrokers Act 1984
- Disposal of Uncollected Goods Act 1967
- Storage Liens Act 1973
Lodging - How do I lodge unclaimed money?
CompaniesA company is required to hold and maintain their own internal register of unclaimed money. Where money has been held for two years or more for a person or entity who cannot be located, a company must pay such money to the Public Trustee. Hospitals and Institutions Hospitals and Institutions are required to deliver to the Public Trustee any property, including jewellery and money that has remained unclaimed for three months or more.
Deceased EstatesIf a beneficiary cannot be located their entitlement in the Estate (in part or in whole) is held as unclaimed.
TrusteesAny Solicitor, Public Accountant, Real Estate Agent, Auctioneer or Agent who operates a Trust Account in Queensland and who has in their possession money or property on behalf of a beneficiary are required after a certain time to pay the money to the Public Trustee when the beneficiary's:
- identity is not known
- whereabouts is unknown
- Status (alive or dead) is unknown
- is deceased and their executors or administrators are unknown.
Local AuthoritiesLocal Authorities have the power to sell freehold property when rates and charges remain unpaid for three years. After deducting sale expenses and the rates owing, Local Authorities are required to pay any balance which remains unclaimed for two years to the Public Trustee.
Residential TenanciesIf a tenancy agreement is terminated and goods or personal documents are left on the property, it is necessary for the landlord to follow certain procedures and account to the Public Trustee.
PawnbrokersPawnbrokers are to forward the net proceeds of sale of unredeemed pledges.
Uncollected GoodsA trader may sell the goods pursuant to legislation and then pay excess funds to the Public Trustee.
Storage Lien - moneys owingA storer may sell the item stored pursuant to legislation and then pay any excess funds to the Public Trustee.
Lodging - Who do I make the cheque out to?
The Public Trustee of Queensland
Money Finders - Do I need to register as a Recovery Agent with the Public Trustee of Queensland?
No. Simply have your client sign the claim form in compliance with our requirements as stated on the claim form and send it to us with a signed Authority for you to act on the claimant’s behalf, accompanied by all of the other necessary documents which enable us to process the claim. If you require your client’s cheque to be sent to your office, please ensure that the bank details section on the front form is crossed out. Please note that we are unable to process claims that are incomplete.