Family members inherit share of £400,000 estate

Thanks to Finders International, six people have inherited a share of a £400,000 from a long-lost relative, as reported in the Daily Telegraph (article is behind a paywall).

Jacqueline Davidson died alone in Ilford, London in 2019 without any known relations to arrange her funeral or search for her last Will and testament. She had worked as an estate agent before retiring.

When her home was searched after she died as the authorities tried to find out more about her circumstances, £200,000 in an untouched bank account was discovered, making the value of her estate some £400,000 when taken with the value of her flat.

Trace living relatives

The local council asked Finders International to trace any living relatives who would be entitled to inherit her estate.

Danny Curran, the founder and CEO of Finders International told the Daily Telegraph that part of the firm’s efforts to find heirs includes searches of the property to find key documents, such as a Will, and to get a feel for the person who has died and how they lived.

Ms Davidson had died in squalor, which the Finders team had found shocking and “incredibly sad”. Her neighbours had known little about her, describing the woman as a loner.

Six cousins located

Danny and the team were able to find six cousins who will each inherit an equal share of the money.

Born in 1939, Ms Davidson had been an only child and had spent most of her life in Ilford. Her father was one of four boys and her mother had three sisters and one brother, meaning that two cousins on Ms Davidson’s maternal side and four on the paternal side have now inherited their fair share of her estate.

One of the beneficiaries, Ashley Davidson, 76, told the Daily Telegraph that he had not seen his cousin for more than 50 years and found the surprise windfall both shocking and sad. His father was the brother of Jacqueline’s father, who died at the age of 38. Jacqueline’s mother remarried and the families then lost touch.

Funeral arranged

Mr Davidson visited his cousin’s flat and had found it in a terrible state. His cousin had appeared to live an isolated, solitary existence. The family arranged Ms Davidson’s funeral and she is buried at a nearby cemetery.

Danny said: “When people die without leaving a Will or who appear to have no known next of kin, the Crown can inherit the estate, although this will not happen for many years. We work on cases like Jacqueline Davidson’s to trace the heirs and ensure that people inherit what is rightfully theirs, and we were delighted to find Jacqueline’s relatives.”

The full story can also be read here.

Finders International trace missing beneficiaries to estates, properties and assets.  To see a full list of our services, please visit our website.  Alternatively, you can contact us via telephone +44(0) 20 7490 4935 or email [email protected]