Is there an unclaimed fortune hanging in your family tree

Posted by Andrew Penny in Personal Finance on 21 June 2012 - Andrew is responsible for Quality Assurance at checkmyfile

Every year in the UK, hundreds of people die without leaving a will. If you die without leaving a will then you have said to have died intestate.

Should there be no obvious surviving relative or spouse that can make a claim on the estate, the Treasury Solicitor will step in and deal with solvent estates of people who die without a will.

In this case who will inherit the estate? That is where ‘probate genealogists’ or ‘heir hunters’ come in. A bit like ambulance chasers, but after the main event.

These specialist family tree trackers are given a list of unclaimed estates from the Treasury and then they decide which ones are worth pursuing. Obviously they take a cut of any potential inheritance they might be passing on to a successful claimant, but since the claimant probably didn’t know the windfall was due, what they never had they will never miss.

As many estates often include a property, jewellery and cash, the value of the estate can be in the hundreds of thousands of pounds so it worth heir hunters spending time and resources searching for and tracking down a claimant.

During the time that heir hunters are searching for any valid claim, the estate is held by the Treasury and is held for 30 years. After that time, if there are no valid claims to the estate, the estate goes to the treasury coffers.

Rather than waiting to see if heir hunters will one day knock on your door, you can do a search in order to see if there is any unclaimed estates in your family tree.

Bona Vacantia provides access to the list of unclaimed estates via an online search facility. You can search for a specific person, a family name, or just see the whole list of unclaimed estates.

If your search returns a positive result and you know you are related to the person detailed, you may be entitled to a share of the deceased's estate. You can even submit a claim via the Bona Vacantia site.

No value is given for the estates listed on the site, value is only known once a valid claim is lodged.

If you do find that you are a surviving relative of the deceased it may open a whole new area of investigation for the heir hunters and you might not be the only claimant. However sharing a lost windfall is better then no windfall at all!

Andrew Penny leads our Software Quality Assurance. He has a degree in Computer Science from the University of Lancaster

The Advantages & Disadvantages of Store Cards

There are a number of reasons you might take out a store card: whether you’re just waiting in-line at the shop and find out you can save on today’s shopping or they offer the promise of making money in the future, these cards regularly find their way into wallets (or phones via an app). Most big retailers offer their own cards, which allow you to take your purchases home – often with a nice discount applied – without having to part with a penny at the till.

Published on 10 Jul 2018 by Tom Blandford

Full Article

What Happens To Your Credit Report When You Move Country?

Moving from one country to another results in a lot of changes and new things – a new place and culture, new job, new people and in some cases even a new language. However, one thing lots of people do not realise is that you will also be starting afresh when it comes to your Credit Report. Credit Reports and the information they contain are country-specific and do not follow you from one country to another.

Published on 27 Jun 2018 by Kirstie Day

Full Article

What To Do If You’re a Victim of Data Breach

Another day, another high-profile data breach, with the morning news bringing word of another leak of personal information that affects millions of consumers. This time it’s the turn of Dixons Carphone - the company behind PC World, Currys and Carphone Warehouse.

Published on 14 Jun 2018 by Jamie Mackenzie Smith

Full Article

What Does Bongo Know About You?

“What does Bongo know about you?” A slightly off-the-wall question I’ll grant you, but one that you might have been asked at some point in time.

Published on 7 Jun 2018 by Richard Catlin

Full Article

Why Don’t Millennials Take Out Credit?

As a millennial, it can feel like my generation is besieged with criticisms on a daily basis, and not all of them are entirely fair (though lots are). We are frequently told that as a generation we are entitled, we have it so much easier than our elders and arguably, worst of all: we buy too many avocados. While I don’t buy avocados, I do have access to credit, which makes me a minority among my age group.

Published on 16 May 2018 by Beth Jennings

Full Article

Why Is My Loan Balance Wrong On My Credit Report?

One of the single most important pieces of information to appear on your credit file is the information relating to your credit agreements and how you repay them - with this information lenders can see your borrowing history across the last six years and use it to help them decide whether or not to offer you finance.

Published on 7 May 2018 by George Coburn

Full Article

How long do closed accounts appear on my credit report?

Some people believe that as soon as a credit agreement is settled and closed, it will no longer be reported to the UK’s Credit Reference Agencies and therefore will no longer have an influence on future credit applications. However, this is a popular misconception, one that could affect your ability to get credit if not correctly understood.

Published on 2 May 2018 by Tom Magor

Full Article

How to Save Big in the Bank Holiday Sales

Bank holidays may not guarantee a day of sun-soaked fun, but as is British tradition, we’d probably be quite happy barbecuing in the snow if it came to it. But no matter what your plans are, if you want to grab a bargain, you can use the Bank Holiday sales to save some serious money.

Published on 26 Apr 2018 by Kiah Phillips

Full Article

Should I Buy or Finance an Aston Martin Valkyrie?

We’ve all been there. £3 million burning a hole in your pocket and a track-going version of Aston Martin’s latest hypercar sat in front of you. But as a shrewd, savvy business-type, you know that dropping £3m in one go on a 1,100bhp car could be considered a questionable, perhaps even ‘baller’ move. But what about putting it on finance?

Published on 13 Apr 2018 by Jamie Mackenzie Smith

Full Article

How to Build Credit History Without a Credit Card

When it comes to the best way to build up a credit history, conventional wisdom is to take out a credit card and use it for everyday purchases, while paying it off (on time) at the end of every month. There’s plenty to support this advice too, as a credit card allows you to spend as much or as little as your limit will allow, while building a history in a reasonably short amount of time.

Published on 26 Mar 2018 by Jamie Mackenzie Smith

Full Article
keyboard_arrow_left

keyboard_arrow_right

We have loads of great customer reviews