Numerous residents in Surrey may find themselves in possession of substantial inheritances, unbeknownst to them. Inheritance matters can become complex, especially in cases where an individual passes away without leaving a will or any known family members.
In such instances, all their assets are relinquished to the Crown as “ownerless property” or bona vacantia. This encompasses not only money and personal belongings but also properties and land, all of which may be rightfully claimed by relatives of the deceased. If your surname is among those associated with unclaimed estates in Surrey, you may be in line to inherit a substantial fortune.
However, it’s important to act swiftly, as there exists a 30-year time limit from the date of death before a listed estate is removed from consideration.
How to Proceed if You Are a Relative
- In the absence of a will, the first claim to the estate belongs to the person’s spouse or civil partner, followed by any children.
- If there is no spouse or child, individuals descended from a grandparent of the deceased person are entitled to a share in the estate.
- Those related by marriage have no entitlement.
- If you are adopted, your rights mirror those of someone born into their adoptive family, and you do not have rights to the estate of your original birth family. Only the adoptive family holds rights to the estate if the deceased person was adopted.
Bona vacantia matters are overseen by the Government Legal Department in England and Wales, which actively seeks entitled relatives through advertisements. To make a claim, you will be required to provide evidence of your relationship with the deceased, such as a birth, marriage, or death certificate. Additionally, you will need to submit a family tree demonstrating your relationship and two pieces of identification. One should display your name, while the other should display both your name and address, with dates within the last three months.
Don’t miss this opportunity to explore potential inheritances that could be rightfully yours.