Treasury receives £14m in unclaimed inheritances
10 April 2015 by Anastasia Packman
In 2014 alone, the Treasury received more than £14m in unclaimed inheritance, something which is more than likely caused by invalid wills or absence of beneficiaries. So how can we stop our estates going to the government? The answer is simple, keep a valid will.
All unclaimed estates pass to the Crown under Bona Vacantia, a free to search government directory. From here estates without a Will or any blood relatives, are administered by a Treasury solicitor. Currently there are around 11,000 unclaimed estates under the Crown all of which can be viewed on the government website.
However, there are companies dedicated to finding the heirs to the Bona Vacantia estates. You may have seen the BBC program, Heir Hunters, which follows the work of probate researchers tracking down the rightful heirs.
While it is great to have these companies on our side, there is of course a fee involved. So why not make a Will and keep it safe? By working with a Solicitor with expert knowledge and experience in Will making, we can ensure our estates are kept in safe hands when our day comes.
So what do you do if you think an estate you may have a claim to has been lost? Well the Bona Vista website provides a free to download directory of all the unclaimed estates currently registered under the Crown. The list includes information such as name, age, place of birth, marital status, other details and so on, thus giving you the best chance to tack down your lost estate.
Of course if you don’t want to do the investigation work yourself and don’t mind someone taking a fee you can also get in touch with a firm of probate detectives as seen on the Heir Hunters programme. Who knows, you might even end up on TV!
If you need advice on any inheritance issues, get in touch with our friendly team today by emailing us at [email protected].
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