Unclaimed Inheritance in Cambridgeshire

Thu 7th Mar 2019

Unclaimed Inheritance in Cambridgeshire

Unclaimed Estates are becoming more of a common occurrence across the UK. There are currently 220 Unclaimed Inheritance cases in Cambridgeshire awaiting a relative and kin to claim them before the possessions attached to the estate pass to the Government.

Probate Genealogists

Probate genealogists Finders International, who has previously featured on shows such as the BBC's Heir Hunters, have totalled the number of these Unclaimed Estates in Cambridgeshire and picked out some names from the list.

Government Unclaimed Estates List

  • Mary Elizabeth Willows was added to the list of Unclaimed Estates in December following her death in November in St Neots.

  • Anthony Bates died in Cambridge last February, aged 77, with his estate listed as unclaimed by the government in September 2018.

  • Albert Mann also died in Cambridge back in March 1989.  Albert’s estate is still unclaimed almost 30 years after the date of death and will revert to the Crown this month if it remains unclaimed.

Bona Vacantia

When a person dies without leaving a will to dictate the splitting of their estate all money, property and possessions become a 'vacant good'. Bona Vacantia is the name given to the ownerless estates that are then passed to the Crown. Entitled relatives to the estate have just a 12-year window to make a claim on an estate once it has been reported unclaimed.

Danny Curran, the Managing Director of Finders said: "These estates are waiting to be claimed from the government, who are sitting on the fortunes of over ten thousand people across the UK."

Government funding of the Bona Vacantia Division was cut in 2014, along with a host of other areas of Government spending.  Due to the reduction in the budget available, there is no search for a will before the estate is listed as Bona Vacantia. Before the funding cuts, the Bona Vacantia Division would conduct a search for a will before listing the estate as 'ownerless'. This is a likely cause in the increase in the number of listings. There are currently 9,000 listings nationwide on the Bona Vacantia List.

Mr Curran claims: "A valid will does exist in approximately one out of every five cases currently listed as Bona Vacantia. Across the UK, there are many relatives needlessly traced. The solution to this escalating problem is simple - The Bona Vacantia division should revert to an inexpensive Will search prior to advertising estates. This would also ensure the deceased's wishes are met."

If you believe one of the estates listed in Cambridgeshire is a relative of yours check to see who is entitled to an unclaimed inheritance in our recent blog post.

To see the entire searchable list visit the Bona Vacantia List