01785 223440      team@orj.co.uk

6,000 Unclaimed Estates Revealed

The details of thousands of unclaimed estates of people who died in the UK have been revealed by The Treasury, with millions of pounds of inheritance waiting for a rightful heir.

The latest Treasury list shows there are around 6,000 unclaimed estates across the country.

It is estimated that around £80 million is sat in limbo in Treasury coffers. The Treasury only
advertises estates with a net value of £500 or above.

Unclaimed estates usually occur when the deceased has not left a will or the beneficiaries of the will
cannot be traced – and the next of kin, following the rules of intestacy, cannot be found either.

How does your area compare?

The full list of unclaimed estates can be found on the Government website.

What do the experts say?

Fiona Mainwaring, Head of Wills and Probate at ORJ, said: “There are clear rules in place to
distribute an estate to family members when there is no will in place, following a strict order of
priority that starts with married or civil partners and ends with half aunts and uncles.

“If no beneficiaries can be traced, the estate simply sits in limbo until after 30 years it becomes the
property of The Crown.

“With people moving around the world more than ever, it is no surprise that it is sometimes difficult
to track down the next of kin. The result is these forgotten fortunes sit dormant and are eventually

“The sheer volume of unclaimed estates shows how important it is to have a valid, up-to-date will,
along with a named executor, which makes it much easier to divide assets when the time comes.”

How to make a claim

Fiona said anyone who believes they might have been left something in a will can search the probate
records so they know who to contact when the estate is dealt with.

“If there is a will, it is possible to get a copy for a nominal fee along with the Grant of Probate, which
will include the executor’s contact details,” added Fiona.

“If there is no will and you believe you qualify through the intestacy rules, a copy of the Grant of
Letters of Administration can be obtained which will include the Administrators’ details.”

To start the process of writing or updating a will, contact Fiona on 01785 223440 or team@orj.co.uk.