Two estranged siblings have shared how they received £12,000 from a complete stranger.

In 2023, Raymond and Brenda Ward both got unexpected letters informing them they would inherit the entire estate of someone they didn’t know.

The surprise inheritance came from 90-year-old George Potter, who passed away alone in a nursing home in Basildon, Essex, in May 2020. With no known next of kin and no will, there was no clear recipient for his estate. This led Finders International, a professional probate genealogy firm featured on BBC’s One Heir Hunters, to track down his relatives.

Finders International discovered that George had no children but did have an “illegitimate” half-brother, Dennis Ward, born 11 years before him. Dennis’s children, half-siblings Brenda, 80, and Raymond, 73, who had never met each other, were identified as beneficiaries of their half-uncle’s estate. Brenda is Dennis’s daughter from his first marriage, and Raymond is his son from his second marriage.

Both siblings were shocked to be contacted by Finders International and surprised to learn about each other. Brenda, who lives in London, said, “Receiving the letter from Finders International was a shock. Seeing my father’s name, a man I had never met, was unsettling, especially considering the challenging times my mother faced. My late brother and I had no contact with him growing up.” She added that she had no idea her father had remarried or had another family until Finders International informed her—it was a complete shock.

Read more, via The Sun Money