Hunting for heirs as millions in cash left by Brummies with no known family

Hunting for heirs as millions in cash left by Brummies with no known family

People are encouraged to check if they could be eligible to claim millions of pounds money from unclaimed estates (Original Story Birmingham Mail) People could be sitting on a goldmine in Birmingham with 208 unclaimed estates.

Birmingham has more unclaimed estates than other city in the UK with money running into millions of pounds up for grabs.

You could be sitting on a potential gold mine without even realising it.

With the financial uncertainty created by the Covid pandemic and with Furlough ending in April there could be no better time to check your eligibility with unclaimed estates.

Birmingham topped a list of UK cities with the most unclaimed estates – a total of 208. Camden in London was second with 176 and Leeds third with 140.

Research has been undertaken by probate genealogy firm Anglia Research commonly known as “heir hunters”.

Using the Government’s official Bona Vacantia List (Latin for vacant or unclaimed goods) the firm has produced an index of the UK cities and boroughs where the most people have died intestate – and no rightful heir has been found.

The firm revealed that in Birmingham the most expensive estate is that of a Vilma Mehersh who died on August 26, 2013. The estate is worth £219,000.

John Wills died on December 17, 2014, in Birmingham leaving an estate worth £208,000.

Peter Sherwin died on June 15, 2014, in Birmingham leaving behind a £200,000 estate.

In the cases of these people they died without writing a will and with no known family.

In cases such as this their estate is passed to the to the Crown. Relations then have the right to make a claim for a share of the estate. The time limit to make a claim is 30 years.

If an estate is still unclaimed in this time period it becomes permanent property of the Crown and the Treasury.

If the person has left no will, their spouse or children have the first claim on their estate.

In the event of no spouse or children, any person who is directly descended from a grandparent of the deceased has the right to make a claim for a share of the estate. This includes siblings, parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Claim seekers who are related to the person via marriage are not entitled to claim for the estate.

Adopted relatives have the same rights and stake to a claim of an estate as blood relatives, and vice versa – only the adoptive family can make a claim on the estate if the person who died was adopted, and adopted people have no rights to the estate of any of their original birth family.

However, someone who is not a direct relative may still be able to put in a claim for a grant from the estate, for example, if they lived with or cared for the deceased.

To prove a claim on an estate, a claimant will have to show a family tree highlighting the relationship with the deceased and two pieces of identification. Birth, marriage, or death certificates may also be required.

Philip Turvey, executive director at Anglia Research, said: As the pandemic continues to rumble on, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the emergency has transformed from a health one to an economic one.

“With the furlough scheme due to end in April and other Government support schemes rolling back, the next six months will be tough for everyone’s finances.

“Our Unclaimed Estates Index shows that residents in Birmingham, Camden and Leeds may have a way out of the economic emergency. I urge anyone living in any of the areas listed in our index to investigate their family tree, look at the official Bona Vacantia list, and see if they are the rightful beneficiary of one of the thousands of estates.

“If they uncover a link or receive from a phone call from a probate genealogist, then they might be able to kiss their financial worries goodbye.”

To view the Government list of unclaimed estates click here

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