Who is Entitled To An Unclaimed Estate?

Tue 16th Oct 2018

Who is Entitled To An Unclaimed Estate?

Firstly, what is an Unclaimed Estate? An Unclaimed Estate or Unclaimed Inheritance refers to what happens when someone dies intestate, i.e. without leaving a will. Unclaimed Estates can also happen when an old will is in place, but the owners intended beneficiaries died before they did. This is quite common among many of the Unclaimed Inheritance cases in the UK. 

The general rules of intestacy are—the person’s spouse or civil partner and then any children have the first right to any case on the Unclaimed Estates List. If there is no spouse, civil partner or child of the deceased, anyone who is descended from a grandparent of the person is entitled to a share of their estate—so cousins, the offspring of cousins etc. People who are related by marriage are not entitled to claim on an estate. 

Adopted children have the same rights as children who are born into a family, but no rights to the estate of their birth family.

Find Unclaimed Inheritance

The issue of unclaimed inheritance crops up more often than you may think. People can leave it too late to make a will, or they might feel that it isn’t worth doing, especially if they don’t have a living spouse or children.

If you believe you are the entitled relative to Unclaimed Inheritance you will need evidence to prove your relationship to the deceased—a family tree, for example, that shows your relationship to the deceased. [Please note—Finders International can draw up independently verified family trees which prove a relationship.]

You also need to give two separate pieces of personal identification—one that shows your full name and the other that lists your name and address and is less than three months old (a utility bill, for example). You might also be required to provide your birth certificate, and birth, marriage and death certificates for the deceased.

Property and Personal Possessions

In most cases, an unclaimed inheritance will be money but it might include property or personal possessions.

What sort of time frame are we looking at? The claims on an estate are handled through the process of administration when someone dies without leaving a will. The time it takes will vary according to the size of the estate, the number of heirs and if there are problems tracing and proving or disproving all entitled beneficiaries.

In general, low-value estates where there aren’t many heirs are easier to administer and take less time than a high-value estate with many heirs—as the beneficiaries to Prince’s estate can tell you…

The process generally takes three to six months in a best-case scenario or several years if not.