Last updated on April 25, 2015
Hundreds of Irish are entitled to millions of British pounds. According to the British Treasury, which is where lists of unclaimed estates are kept, the largest heir entitlement is from an Irish women who died, leaving an unclaimed London estate worth $12.3 million.
When a person dies without an obvious next-of-kin, their estate is automatically handed over to the British Government, a situation the government finds itself in about 2,000 times a year. In 2012 alone the British Government says they collected more than $51 million in unclaimed inheritances.
Inside the British Treasury Department is Bona Vacantia, a list that includes more than 10,500 unclaimed estates, many of which consist of Irish people who died between 1997 and 2012. Common names on the Bona Vacantia list include Connollys, Murhpys, O’Briens, Brennans, Fitzgeralds and Kelly.
While the list is updated each week, there are no figures given to determine the value of the estate, however, the treasury only deals with estates valued over $775. Many of the estates on the list include life insurance policies, real estate and bank savings.
There are several London law firms that specialize in probate research. Fraser and Fraser law firm say that they repatriated $6.6 million to Ireland over an 18-month period. To make a claim though, you will be required to provide evidence of a blood relationship in the form of marriage, death certificates or birth, along with evidence of their identity.
To find out if you’re on the list, go to www.bonavacantia.gov.uk.