People with these surnames in Herts could be sitting on unclaimed estate fortunes
- Credit: Pexels
People in Hertfordshire could unknowingly be sitting on thousands of pounds – with more than 150 estates of the county's deceased remaining unclaimed.
Data published by the government shows 175 estates have not been claimed – and are therefore open for family members to make a claim.
When someone dies with no will or known family, their property passes to the Crown as ownerless property – also known as "bona vacantia".
Estates can include any kind of property such as buildings, money or even personal possessions.
The data, which is updated daily, lists people who died in Hertfordshire as far back as 1990, as well as 10 people who were born in the county but died elsewhere.
The people came from towns including Stevenage, St Albans and Welwyn Garden City – with many dying as widows, bachelors or spinsters.
Relatives of the deceased – such as spouses, siblings, cousins, uncles and aunts – can make a claim for their estates via the government's Bona Vacantia division.
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When making a claim, you'll be asked to send a family tree showing your relationship and two pieces of identification.
You might also be asked to send birth, death or marriage certificates.
However, if you are not a relative, you can still apply for a grant from the estate – for example, if you lived together or once cared for them.
To find out more about making a claim, visit the government’s website.