How to track down unclaimed inheritance

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Here at Finders International, we often present people with goods news about an unclaimed inheritance—a windfall that can pay for a new car, a holiday or sometimes even more.

But what about you? Could you be in line for an unclaimed inheritance, and if so how do you go about finding if you are?

There are sources you can check out that list up-to-date records of unclaimed estates – the Bona Vacantia list, a Government Legal Department held record where people who have died intestate and who do not appear to have next of kin are detailed.

There is also the unclaimedestates.com website which is also updated regularly and where you can sign up for newsletters every time an estate is added to the list. That newsletter could wing its way to you one day with information about an estate where the deceased shares your name – and you too could be in line for an unclaimed inheritance!

Unclaimed inheritance—where it might end up

The Bona Vacantia and unclaimed estate lists will record the name of the person, the date of their death and where they died, and usually the date of birth too which will give you a rough idea if this person could be related to you or not. If there are any living relatives, the estate will go to them but if unclaimed, inheritance goes to the Treasury.

Relatives have 12 years to come forward to claim what they are due, but there is a longer deadline of 30 years if proof and proper documentation can be produced. (Interest on the final 18 years isn’t included for these estates.)

For any estates where you think you could be related to the deceased, you need to prove this is case via a verified family tree that shows the birth, marriage and death dates (where applicable) of all those on the tree. ID is also needed to prove you are who you say you are. Then, you might need further documentation, such as certificates.

Heir hunters

Heir hunters, or probate genealogists, are experts in this field. They can prove the relationship of a person to the deceased, and provide the necessary documentation in double quick time. Here at Finders International, we offer open and transparent services and we take our fee from a percentage of the estate so our clients never end up out of pocket.

Another benefit of tracking down unclaimed inheritance could be findings of a different kind—detailed knowledge of your family tree, for instance, or finding relatives you didn’t know you had.

Find out more about the services Finders International offers when it comes to tracing an unclaimed inheritance.