Who is Entitled to Unclaimed Inheritance?

Wed 12th Dec 2018

Who is Entitled to Unclaimed Inheritance?

In our line of work, we like to say there is no such thing as an Unclaimed Estate or rather Unclaimed Inheritance. Everyone, no matter how alone they might have seemed, has family somewhere who are entitled to their estate.

Often, when people don’t have a surviving spouse or children, the urgency to write a will is lessened and so this means they run the risk of dying intestate. But Unclaimed Inheritance belongs to someone—be it a person who is distantly related or perhaps did not even know the relative who has died.

Unclaimed Inheritance

The laws of intestacy work according to a set of steps that determine who the rightful heirs are in cases where there is no will. Under the rules of intestacy, a person’s partner can only inherit if the couple were married or in a civil partnership. If you are divorced or the civil partnership has legally ended, you are not entitled to claim.

If a person dies without a partner or surviving children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren, then the next relatives who can claim the Unclaimed Inheritance are surviving parents. If there are no parents, next in the rules of intestacy are siblings who are entitled to claim in equal shares. Then it is half brothers or sisters. If those brothers and/or sisters and half brothers or sisters have also died, their children (the person’s nieces and nephews) will inherit a share of the estate.

Next in line to Unclaimed Inheritance

If there are none of the above relatives existing, the next in line is half-aunts and half-uncles. Again, if they are already deceased, their children can have the Unclaimed Inheritance. Finally, if there are no surviving blood relatives, the estate is passed to the Crown. You can see why there are few genuine cases where there are no relatives whatsoever—from half-sisters and brothers to aunts and uncles and all their children, there is usually a possibility that someone has family entitled to that Unclaimed Inheritance.

It is, however, possible. We sadly encounter entitled relatives to Unclaimed Estates who had no idea of the existence of their benefactor. With half-nieces and nephews entitled it is often the case that parents have lost touch with distant family members and their children never hear of, or meet their full family. 

Finders International can help people find if they are entitled to an Unclaimed Estate. Our services work quickly and thoroughly to establish family tree verification and the case for or against entitlement. We are one of the best established and most experienced firms in the business of probate genealogy and our services are used by professionals such as lawyers, solicitor firms and others, councils, health boards and more.

How to Claim Unclaimed Inheritance

If you believe you could be an entitled to a case on the Unclaimed Inheritance list contact a member of our team to start your claim.