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Over 200 Unclaimed Estates in Devon

Over 200 Unclaimed Estates in Devon


The government have recently released information of close to 200 Unclaimed Estates in Devon publicly viewable on the Bona Vacantia List. The estates listed are unclaimed from who have died with a connection to Devon in some part of their life.

Many either died in Devon or were originally from the county,  but have passed away elsewhere without any next of kin laying claim to their belongings or properties. If no one is found or steps forward, they are eventually handed over to the Crown permanently.


Free Unclaimed Inheritance Search

The latest official list of unclaimed inheritance reveals thousands across the country totalling millions in unowned belongings, money and properties.

The full inheritance search list or register for unclaimed estates contains further information on a case by case basis, dependent on the information available. This can include the marital status of the deceased plus any relevant maiden names which can help to identify the individual and search their family tree.

By using our free unclaimed inheritance search, the full number of estates listed in Devon can be found. Popular areas include Exeter, where 81 unclaimed inheritance cases are seen. There are also over 130 unclaimed estates registered with a connection to Plymouth.


A Specialist Probate Genealogist Team

The Government currently has the care of over 350 estates published to the register in 2019. Estates only make it to the list when the deceased passed away without making a will or with no next of kin. Any money and property in the estates will revert to the Crown permanently if they remain unidentified after 12 years.

According to Finders International - a specialist probate genealogist team - entitled relatives have just 12 years to claim against a deceased’s estate once it has been reported unclaimed to the Crown. If you believe you could be the rightful heir to one of the estates listed, find out how to make a claim for that estate.

The list has seen a sharp increase in numbers over recent years after Government spending reductions in 2014. This now means there is now no search for a will before a case is added to the Bona Vacantia list.


Making A Claim on A Deceased Estate

If a person dies in the UK without leaving a valid or effective will their estate becomes intestate. The following members of the deceased’s family are entitled to the estate in the below order:

  1. husband, wife or civil partner

  2. children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and so on

  3. mother or father

  4. brothers or sisters who share both the same mother and father, or their children (nieces and nephews)

  5. half brothers or sisters or their children (nieces and nephews of the half blood or their children). ‘Half ’ means they share only one parent with the deceased

  6. grandparents

  7. uncles and aunts or their children (first cousins or their descendants)

  8. half-uncles and aunts or their children (first cousins of the half blood or their children). ‘Half’ means they only share one grandparent with the deceased, not both

If an entitled relative survived the deceased but has since died, that relative’s personal representative must make a claim to the deceased’s estate.  This will normally pass to the children of the entitled relative.

Learn more about making a claim on an estate.


This article was originally posted in the Plymouth Herald.