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How to Find Unclaimed Estates

How to Find Unclaimed Estates


Want to know if you might be the rightful beneficiary to an Unclaimed Estate? This website offers a comprehensive list where you can do an Unclaimed Estates Search to find by name someone who might have been one of your relatives.

We update this website on a daily basis. Estates added to the list this month include that of William Aitken who died in 2009 in Leicester, and also that of Stanley Anderson, born in Jamaica and who died in Bristol in 2010. A more recent death was that of Kathleen Bryant who died in Gloucestershire in January of this year.

Government Unclaimed Estates List

The Government Unclaimed Estates List is known as the Bona Vacantia list, literally translates to mean ‘vacant goods’. When someone dies without leaving a will and appears to have no close surviving relatives who might otherwise inherit, then their goods might pass to the Crown, unless the rightful beneficiaries are found.

The Unclaimed Estates are advertised on the Government Unclaimed Estates List to allow people who might have a claim to come forward, but the government itself does not seek them out following budget cuts in recent years.

What sometimes happens in such cases, is professional probate genealogy services such as Finders International seek out the rightful heirs. Often, this can come as a complete surprise to the person who is entitled to a share of the estate. Perhaps they didn’t know the person who died very well, or they might not even realise their relative had died. Often entitled relatives aren’t aware their benefactor existed. An unexpected inheritance is often welcomed.

Unclaimed Estates Search

The Unclaimed Estates search can be done by other filters than surnames, such as forenames, dates of birth or death and the place of death so you can often find estates with very little information.

The Unclaimed Estates search here can be done on the website, but we also offer a useful service called Heir Hound where you can create surname alerts. This means that if we add an estate to the list that matches that surname, the free service will let you know and you might find yourself in the position of being a rightful heir to an estate. You can specify as many surnames as you want—what we sometimes advise is that if you have already done some research into your own family tree, you use the family names that have turned up in the course of that research.