On Air today (Friday 8th November 2019), Finders International’s MD Danny Curran made a guest appearance on This Morning with Beneficiary Margaret Abbotts, who inherited £300k from a long-lost half-sister who she never knew existed.

Margret was born in London in 1938, her father left her mother when she was just 10 months old. Her mother had spoken of Mary Major, Margaret’s half-sister, a child of her father’s born before he had met Margret’s mother and 19.

Margaret had a very hard life, suffering from numerous illnesses during the 1940s, including diphtheria and polio, hospitalising her for many of the air raids during the war.

A letter from a member of our probate genealogy team to Margret detailed that Mary had made no will during her life and that as her half-sister, she was entitled to the estate Mary had left behind after her passing. The total figure from all Mary’s assets at the time of her death came to around £300,000, a life-changing sum for Margret.

Speaking to This Morning Danny Curran said, “Margaret’s case was typical in that her initial reaction was, this might be a scam I’m going to throw the letter in the bin, but we persisted with it, of course. And the other strange aspect of this case is that there was already a cousin making a claim so we were verifying that the cousin was a genuine claimant. But as it transpired, we then found a prior claimant; Margaret herself so she inherited the whole estate which of course, left the cousins disappointed but legally the correct thing had been done, and Margaret benefited from it.”

“Many cases we do, we find a will further into the process. We don’t always find a will straight away but in Margaret’s case after all the due diligence and the searches were done, and there was no will, and we were able to proceed. After a year or so it takes to wind up the estate, she (Margaret) was better off as a result.”

Unfortunately, there are several cases just like that of Mary Major. With every case of an unclaimed estate, there is at least one unexpected heir, not knowing their life could be about to change. If you know of a person who has recently deceased without a known next of kin to inherit their estate, contact a member of our probate genealogy team to refer their case. We can trace their past to find an entitled relative, ensuring their assets pass to a family member and not the crown.

If you believe you could be an entitled relative, search the Unclaimed Estates List. You may be an unexpected heir, just like Margret.

For behind the scenes footage from today’s guest appearance, follow us on our Instagram and Twitter accounts.