Writing guidelines

Vernon, BC

Designing for BC Unclaimed? See our brand guidelines.

Brand voice

The personality of our brand comes through in the brand voice used for all communications. It helps us express our values and sets us apart from other organizations. A consistent brand voice attracts the public, helps them know what to expect, and fosters trust.

Our tone is professional and friendly, neither overly formal nor overly casual. We strive to keep our communications clear, simple and approachable, like we're talking directly to the person reading. We write in the first person, and use the active voice.

Key messages

Important concepts about BC Unclaimed that we want to communicate in our writing:

  • We are designated by the Province of British Columbia as caretakers of unclaimed funds in BC.

  • We maintain a free searchable public database of unclaimed property in BC.

  • We handle and protect personal information securely and confidentially.

  • We proactively search for the rightful owners of unclaimed money.

  • We work with organizations to help them get unclaimed assets off their books.

  • We support community and social programs through sustainable financial contributions to the Vancouver Foundation.

Brand values

Our brand personality can be described in three values: Trustworthy, Professional, and Helpful. The way we write should reflect these values.


Honest, careful, diligent

  • We want the public to trust us.

  • We're clear and straightforward in our communications.

  • We take the security of personal information seriously.

What to do

What not to do

Use simple, clear language to explain our work and our processes. Keep paragraphs short and sentences shorter.

Don't use overly technical or complicated language that the public won't understand. Don't use long, run-on sentences that will overwhelm and confuse readers.

Write this

Not this

Unclaimed property laws were created to protect consumers. They protect both owners and people who inherit property. Once BC Unclaimed receives the unclaimed property, we keep it until the right owner claims it. We try to find owners using mail, ads, or news stories.

Unclaimed property laws began in the United States as a consumer protection program and they have evolved to protect not only the owners, but their heirs and estates as well. Once property is in the custody of the state and its unclaimed property program, aggressive outreach efforts begin through mailings, advertising, and local media coverage. The state will maintain custody of the property in perpetuity until the rightful owner or heirs come forward to claim.


Efficient, respectful, attentive

  • We take our work seriously, and we want to do a good job.

  • We want the public to know that they are in good hands with our help.

What to do

What not to do

Use precise, accurate, respectful language to explain what we do and what we need from the people we serve.

Don't use overly casual language or slang .

Don't get cutesy, comedic or apathetic.

Write this

Not this

There is a lot of unclaimed money waiting to be claimed by people in BC. BC Unclaimed works hard to find the rightful owners of that money. We want to return your money to you. All you have to do is search your name and make a claim.

You have unclaimed cash out there, citizens. But not to worry, our cash claim heroes at the Department of Treasury have come to the rescue. We’ve found your money for you, and we want to return it. All you have to do is search your name and make a claim.


Approachable, understandable, kind

  • We want to help claimants and holders to use our services easily and efficiently.

  • We want to be approachable and accessible to all.

  • We're proactive about reuniting unclaimed funds with rightful owners.

What to do

What not to do

Write in a friendly, approachable manner, like we're talking directly to the person reading. This means that conversational grammar is sometimes appropriate, as long as we're not getting too casual.

Don't use overly formal language that distances us from the public. Don't be stiff, uptight, or haughty.

Write this

Not this

Holders are people or organizations that have unclaimed money that belongs to someone else. They have looked for the right owners, but haven't been able to find them.

Holders of unclaimed funds have to follow the Unclaimed Property Act. This means that they have to transfer the unclaimed money to us.

Holders of unclaimed financial assets are persons and organizations that have been unable to find the owner or right-holder of such assets and that either owe an amount to the owner or right-holder or are holding property on the owner's or right-holder's behalf. Holders of unclaimed financial assets are subject to the Unclaimed Property Act and must remit the unclaimed assets in their possession to us.


We use Canadian spelling.

Do: cheque, neighbour, favour

Don't: check, neighbor, favor


We use sentence case for page titles and headings. This means that we only capitalize the first word and proper nouns.

Do: The unclaimed property process

Don't: The Unclaimed Property Process