Unclaimed Estates

Professional heir hunters or probate genealogists, trace lost relatives of the deceased to find the rightful heirs of unclaimed estates. IWC offer a complete heir-hunting service, from tracing a relative right through to making a claim to the treasury solicitor for any estate deemed to be Bona Vacantia. We are probate specialists and full registered members of the Heir Hunters Association, for more information about unclaimed or claiming an estate call us free on 0800 612 6105. Click here to START YOUR SEARCH

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Using our powerful search engine you can submit a search of the Unclaimed Estates Register also known as the Bona Vacantia List which literally translates to the Vacant Goods List. You can search the Bona Vacantia by a deceased's surname, date of death, or place of death.

If your search returns a positive result and you know you are related to the person detailed, you may be entitled to a share of the deceased's estate. IWC are registered members of the Heir Hunters Association, our experienced team can help you make a claim for a lost inheritance to the treasury solicitor, call us free on 0800 612 6105 to claim your entitlement.


In the case of an intestate death, (where there is no valid will), the persons next of kin applies for letters of administration in order to represent the estate and bequeath assets in accordance with the rules of intestacy. If no relatives apply for probate to administer the estate and no heirs can be found, the assets will be escheated (passed to the Crown). This is quite common when the deceased is the last surviving spouse and has lost touch with relatives. In fact, thousands of estates each year are referred to the treasury solicitor; the Crown's Nominee for the administration of unclaimed estates.

Who is entitled to Intestate Unclaimed Estates?

Blood relatives in accordance with intestacy law can make a claim to the estate. This includes the following relationships in this order of entitlement:

  • Spouse
  • Children
  • Parents
  • Brothers and sisters and their children
  • Half Brothers and sisters and their children
  • Surviving grandparents
  • Aunts and Uncles
  • Half Aunts and Uncles

If you think you may be an heir to an estate and want to make a claim, you will need evidence; a family tree proving your relationship to the deceased and appropriate certificates for birth, marriage and death. Call probate specialists; IWC on 0800 612 6105 for more information.

Unclaimed Wills

Similarly, there are many estates where the deceased leaves a will but relatives are simply untraceable. If you think you may have been named in a will but are unsure how to go about the process, IWC can help. As probate specialists, we can trace wills and any unclaimed inheritance on your behalf, even if you don't know the place or date of death. Call now on 0800 612 6105.

What Happens to Unclaimed estates?

They remain with the treasury solicitor for 30 years, without relatives ever knowing of their potential entitlement. Details of these are included on the Bona Vacantia as public records. The list includes unclaimed estates that have been referred from 1 January 1997 onwards. It is updated on the first working day of every month. The value of the estate is not given to prevent fraud but they are normally in excess of £500. We provide a complete search mechanism for the new estates list.

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