500 unclaimed estates in Surrey with no will or known relatives…

November 6th 2014
By: Melanie Hollidge

Information from HM Treasury has revealed that there are in excess of 500 unclaimed estates in Surrey. These estates belonged to people in Surrey who have died with no will, and no known relatives. If this money isn’t eventually claimed it will go to the Crown.
These unclaimed estates go back as far as 1984 and include the estate of Anne Margaret Davies from Guildford who died in 1986 and Paul Walker who died in April 2014.
The Treasury Solicitor acts on behalf of the Crown to administer money from any estates which have been left without a will or without known entitled blood relatives.
This year 13 people who have died in 2014 have been transferred to the government, which then publishes a list of unclaimed estates and invites anyone who feels they should have a stake in an estate to make a claim.
If anyone feels as though they do have a claim on an estate they will need to submit a claim to the Treasury Solicitor’s Department within 12 years of death, although the department will consider claims up to 30 years after the date of death.
Allison Crossman from TWM solicitors came across many unclaimed estates in her tenure.
She told Get Surrey: “It can be a very tricky process.
I dealt with the intestacy of a gentleman named ‘Smith’, which as you can imagine was quite a task.
His family were convinced he had only so many siblings, but eventually we found another sibling.
It is all based on blood relations, and I can’t see that changing to be honest. Although family dynamics are obviously changing, but it’s a long established procedure.
This is why it is always advisable to make a will, to ensure that your assets go where you want them to.
People sometimes don’t do it because they don’t want to think about their own death.
If a person has no relatives, we get situations where they may wish to leave their assets to a charity, or something like that.
Sometimes a person’s possessions are far more valuable than they realised too – I came  across a situation where one lady was convinced the coin collection she had been passed was worthless, and it turned out to be valued at £50,000.”
Source: Get Surrey