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Thousands of Brits could be set to inherit fortunes without even knowing it

Thousands of Brits could be set to inherit fortunes without even knowing it

It's worth checking it out in case you could be owed some money

Thousands of Brits could be sitting on small fortunes without even knowing it.

When a person dies in the United Kingdom, who gets what was theirs isn't always as clear as it should be.

This might be the case more so when a person's next of kin is unknown with no apparent family to inherit their cash and assets.

But it can also be because their will is outdated and doesn't reflect newer familial connections.

Last Will and Testament.
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Right now, more than 6,000 estates in the UK where a person have died and their estate has sat dormant.

And a fresh look at the data shows that hundreds of these all share very common British surnames.

Finance expert Gary Hemming from ABC Finance has had a deep dive in to the freshly updated numbers, which were published by the UK Government Legal Department.

"The data reveals a fascinating landscape of forgotten fortunes," Hemming says.

"Whether your surname is Smith, Jones, or something less common, there might be a piece of history waiting for you to claim.

"It's an opportunity not just to enrich yourself but to honour the legacy of those who came before."

A small fortune could await you.
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What we don't know is what is in the estates, with that being kept secret.

They could include pennies and at the same time, could have hidden treasures and family heirlooms worth thousands.

Through the new analysis, this is the top 10 surnames with unclaimed estates, which might just include your ancestral inheritance:

  • Smith: 103 unclaimed estates
  • Jones: 66 unclaimed estates
  • Brown: 44 unclaimed estates
  • Williams: 43 unclaimed estates
  • Taylor: 37 unclaimed estates
  • Wilson: 34 unclaimed estates
  • Davies: 29 unclaimed estates
  • Evans: 28 unclaimed estates
  • Thomas: 27 unclaimed estates
  • Johnson: 25 unclaimed estates

In total, there are 6,033 unclaimed estates across the United Kingdom right now - meaning that many people are missing out on what could be legally theirs.

Free money, woo.
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How to make a claim on an estate

If someone dies without a will, the following are entitled to claim their estate in the order shown below:

  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.

To make the claim, you must prove to the Bona Vacantia division (BVD) of the Government Legal Department that your claim is legit.

This includes sending the BVD your family tree, as well as documents such as birth certificates and proof of ID.

There could be money to go after.
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What if you're successful?

The BVD will be in touch if your claim is successful.

If the amount in the estate is less than £15,000, it's fairly straightforward and the money will be sent to you after you sign off on the final paperwork.

But if it's more than £15k it can get a little complicated.

In these situations, it might be best to instruct a legal professional who will take a small percentage for doing the technical aspects.

Featured Image Credit: Getty Stock Images

Topics: Money, News, UK News, Home