Lost beneficiary inherits £400,000

Finders International recently tracked down the sole beneficiary of a former BBC journalist to inform them of a £400,000 inheritance.

Alexander Thomson was an editor for the BBC World Service in West African and the Far East. He died last year of lung cancer and did not leave a will nor seemed to have any next of kin. Finders International searched for an heir to inherit his estate and found not just the beneficiary but Asian artefacts worth thousands of pounds in his home.

Living in Kent

The editor had been living in Ramsgate, Kent, before he died. He was the youngest of three children and had been born in Singapore.

Danny Curran, Finders International’s CEO and founder, told the Daily Telegraph [article is behind a paywall] that one of Mr Thomson’s siblings had children and at first it was thought that his niece and nephew would be the ones to inherit his estate.

However, after in-depth research by the team, Finders found a relation more closely related.  His estate consists of a three-bedroomed terraced house and the treasures found in his home.

Valuers called in to assess the estate

“Seeing as Mr Thomson had a connection with Asia from birth and also professionally, it was unsurprising to see an Asian influence on items at his house,” Danny said. “We felt it was prudent to bring in an expert to view these and make initial judgments on their historical and/or artistic value.”

One of the finds was a vase worth £20,000. Dawsons Auctioneers & Valuers said the vase has a six-character mark on it related to the late 19th century Guangxu emperor, which made it so valuable. The valuers also found a rare 19th century wedding footstool, which sold for more than £2,000 at auction.

In addition, Mr Thomson had restored an old boat moored near his home that was thought to be the largest lifeboat in the world at the time of its launch in 1923.

Some 300,000 people in the UK die every year without leaving a Will. Under intestacy rules, their inheritance passes to the nearest surviving relatives. If no relatives can be found or come forward to claim the inheritance, it passes to the Government after 30 years, except for residents of Cornwall where it passes to the Duchy of Cornwall, currently the Prince of Wales.

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]