Is your surname on this list? You could be sitting on a fortune from an unclaimed estate in Norfolk
PUBLISHED: 10:34 20 January 2019 | UPDATED: 14:16 20 January 2019
Thousands of pounds could be waiting for people living in Norfolk as dozens of estates remain unclaimed.
HM Treasury takes care of people’s homes and estates when someone has died without making a will or has no named next-of-kin.
The government then produces a spreadsheet, updated daily, showing which legacies have not yet been claimed by any relatives.
The list shows 78 people who died in Norfolk.
Many have been on the list for years and the vast majority are believed to be people who died alone and are listed as spinsters, widows, bachelors or single people.
However the government usually only accepts claims up to 12 years after the administration of the estate, meaning those who believe they are rightful heirs may not have long to make a claim.
Vicky Hosking, partner at Michael Smith and Co Solicitors in Ipswich, said the figures reiterated how important it is for people to make a will.
Yet statistics show that six out of 10 people have not made a will.
“The most popular reason why people don’t make a will is they feel they’re going to jinx themselves,” she said.
She also said young families are often faced with difficult choices about who should become the guardian of their children should the worst happen, meaning they put off making a decision.
Others live in what she called “blended families”, where partners have children from different marriages - meaning they again put off difficult decisions about who benefactors should be.
However she said: “It is a growing area of society. More and more people live in those modern family arrangements and more than ever at that point you need a will, probably more than a regular nuclear family.”
If you do not have a will, she said: “The difficulty it creates is that your estate ends up going to a person that doesn’t reflect your wishes.
“If you’re living as a cohabiting couple, your partner is not necessarily going to benefit from your estate - it’s going to go to your parents or children.
“Solicitors are your best option. Most firms tend to offer a free initial appointment or a fixed fee.”
She said she tries to help clients “break down barriers” to making a will and that if people take the step of going to see a solicitor to talk about the options available, they are usually more comfortable about making decisions.
The surnames of people on the unclaimed estates list who died in Norfolk are:
You can find out more about how to make a claim on the government’s website.