There are hundreds of unclaimed estates of people who died in Coventry that have still not been claimed yet.
Unclaimed estates – where someone dies with no will or known next of kin – pass to the government’s Bona Vacantia division.
The government are currently sitting on 10,000 unclaimed estates, as people die without making a Will or with no next of kin.
This department publishes a list of all of them – and anyone who believes they are entitled to them can make a claim.
The late Alastair MacDonald, who died on July 27 this year aged 91 years old, is the most recently deceased in Coventry to be added to the list.
According to Finders International- a specialist probate genealogist team- family members and heirs have just 12 years to claim an estate once it has been reported unclaimed to the Crown.
Danny Curran, star of BBC Heir Hunters and MD of Finders International said: “These 700 estates are waiting to be claimed from the government, who are sitting on the fortunes of over ten thousand people across the UK.”
Any individual can check the Central Probate Registry to see if any next of kin are on the unclaimed list.
Surnames of current unclaimed Coventry estates include:
The list has seen an sharp increase in numbers over the past few years after government cuts mean that there is no search for a Will before an unclaimed estate is added to the list.
Danny Curran explained that this inexpensive search will save a lot of wasted time when searching for next of kin
He added: “Valid wills do exist for approximately one in every five cases currently being advertised by the Government as intestacies.
“Many relatives are being needlessly traced only to find their expectations are dashed.
“The solution to this escalating problem is simple: The Bona Vacantia division should revert to an inexpensive Will search prior to advertising estates. Where valid Wills are found, the estate does not need to be advertised.
“This would also ensure the deceased’s wishes are met.”
This article has been first published in Coventry Telegraph