It has been revealed that there are over 40 estates that Plymouth people could claim before they are permanently handed over to the Crown.
It’s a little-known secret that the details of thousands of unclaimed estates are available online – and you could make a claim to one of them if you’ve got the right surname.
The details are on a spreadsheet that can be accessed by anyone. In Plymouth they include ‘widows’, ‘spinsters’, ‘bachelors’ and ‘unknown’.
The list of surnames of unclaimed estates below include people who were born or died in the city, or had some other family link to the area.
The Government is currently taking care of the estates because the deceased passed away without making a will or with no next of kin.
There are currently more than 44 unclaimed estates connected to Plymouth.
Several of the estates have been listed by the Government for decades, and will revert to the Crown permanently if they remain unidentified.
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.
Any individual can check the Central Probate Registry to see if any of their next of kin are on the unclaimed list.
If you think that you might be the rightful heir to one of the estates listed you can find out how to make a claim for that estate here .
The list has seen a sharp increase in numbers over the past few years because Government cuts mean there is no search for a will before an unclaimed estate is added to the list.
See the full list below
How to make a claim
Check your entitlement
If someone dies without leaving a valid or effective will (intestate) the following are entitled to the estate in the order shown below:
husband, wife or civil partner
children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and so on
mother or father
brothers or sisters who share both the same mother and father, or their children (nieces and nephews)
half brothers or sisters or their children (nieces and nephews of the half blood or their children). ‘Half ’ means they share only one parent with the deceased
uncles and aunts or their children (first cousins or their descendants)
half uncles and aunts or their children (first cousins of the half blood or their children). ‘Half’ means they only share one grandparent with the deceased, not both
If you are, for example, a first cousin of the deceased, you would only be entitled to share in the estate if there are no relatives above you in the order of entitlement, for example, a niece or nephew.
Make a claim
If an entitled relative survived the deceased but has since died, that relative’s personal representative (the person legally entitled to deal with their estate) must make a claim to the deceased person’s estate.
If you believe you are entitled to claim an estate, send a family tree which shows how you are related to the person who has died, and include the dates of birth, marriage and death of all those on the tree.
If it appears that you may be entitled to claim the estate, you will then be asked to supply documentary evidence that proves your entitlement.
This article has been first published in plymouthherald.co.uk