Records published by the Treasury have revealed that there are hundreds of estates waiting to be claimed from the government that were originally owned by people who died in Yorkshire.
When someone dies without making a will or with no known family, their property is passed to the Crown in a process known as ‘bona vacantia’. Their estate can include buildings, money or personal possessions, ranging from trinkets to vast property wealth. Only estates worth over £500 are included, as these are considered solvent. In most cases, relatives who can prove their connection to the deceased person will be able to claim, even if they aren’t a spouse, child or sibling. Great-grandchildren, aunts, uncles and cousins could all be entitled to a share.
If you notice a name on this list which you think could be a relative, contact the government’s legal department by visiting https://www.gov.uk/guidance/make-a-claim-to-a-deceased-persons-estate.
You’ll usually require documentation such as birth certificates and other records to make a valid claim. The list from Leeds includes estates which have gone unclaimed since the 1980s, and also contain the names of people born in Ireland, eastern Europe and the Caribbean - providing an interesting insight into immigration patterns in the area in the 20th century.