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Irish Bona Vacantia on the Rise

Irish Bona Vacantia on the Rise


People from all parts of the world could be the heir to an unclaimed inheritance case without knowing a thing. In recent times the number names on the Bona Vacantia list has risen dramatically. Cases with connections to Ireland are no different.  

Unclaimed Inheritance in Ireland

Irish people have emigrated to all corners of the world for decades. From America and Canada to as far afield as Australia, citizens of Irish origin can normally be found. 

For probate cases without a will, this can cause immense problems in tracing the beneficiary. In many Irish Bona Vacantia cases, either the deceased has a connection to Ireland or the beneficiaries did. As either or both of these could have emigrated, finding a beneficiary and having accurate and up to date details is often a challenge. 

Partial Intestacy

In many of these cases of Bona Vacantia, partial intestacy becomes a factor. This is where often a will is known for the deceased but the beneficiaries have either predeceased the benefactor or the individuals named cannot be located. This usually means the wishes of the deceased can not be carried out as stated in their will, leading to a probate researcher being contacted by the executor of the will. 

It can often be hard to locate the beneficiary of an estate due to inaccurate or out of date details. Details such as the wrong date of birth or an out of date home address. Even with access to the most up to date records, specialist probate genealogists Finders International claim tracking an heir is made very difficult with misinformation.  

Bona Vacantia in Ireland

“There is an incredible number of estates of deceased Irish people waiting to be claimed from the UK government,” reported Meave Mullin, a Senior Researcher for Finders International in Dublin. 

The Treasury holds all Bona Vacantia cases in the UK through the Bona Vacantia List. This details a record of each individual who has died without a will with their case currently unsolved. The Bona Vacantia list currently has over 500 Unclaimed Estates cases from England and Wales with a connection to Ireland. The Ireland division of Unclaimed Estates will perform a tracing service providing the estate is valued in excess of £1,000. 

The cases on the Bona Vacantia list include a whole range of possessions with a variety of values. Cases of Unclaimed Inheritance contain everything left behind by a person at the time of their death. This can include monies from a bank account to all other personal possessions which can include high-value items such as property and vehicles. 

Are you an Entitled Relative

If you believe a case listed on the Bona Vacantia list is a relative of yours, contact a member of our Probate Genealogy team who can investigate your case. 

This article was taken from a story in the Irish Times