If a loved one has died without leaving a will, you could be entitled to a share of their assets. This is why Prestige Tax and Trust Services has decided to explain how to make a claim on an estate.
What happens to ownerless property?
If someone dies without leaving a will their estate e.g. property, money etc., will pass to the Crown (government) as ownerless property. This means that if you believe you have grounds, you could be entitled to claim a share of the deceased’s estate.
How relatives claim
If you were a relative of the deceased, this process is fairly simple. The first thing you need to do is check if the estate is listed with the Crown; if it isn’t you can inform the Crown of the existence of an estate you believe has gone unclaimed.
Then you should check to see whether you’re an “entitled relative” of the deceased. Under UK law, entitled relatives have a stronger claim on the estate of the deceased. Finally you need to make a claim and to do this, you should find the unclaimed estate online, click on the deceased’s surname and complete the claim form.
You’ll need to present several documents as part of your claim. This includes a family tree which shows how you were related to the person who died and two pieces of ID; one that shows your name and one that shows your name and address. The latter must dated within the last three months. You could also be asked to submit any relevant birth, marriage and death certificates.
How non-relatives claim
If you weren’t a relative of the deceased, but had a close relationship with them e.g. lived with them or cared for them, you may also be entitled to make a claim on their estate. In order to do this you need to write to the Treasury Solicitor’s Office stating that you’re writing to claim a discretionary grant. Alternatively, you should write to the relevant body representing the Crown if you live in the Duchies of Lancaster or Cornwall, Northern Ireland or Scotland.
This will allow you to apply for a grant from the estate, which will entitle you to make a claim. It can be hard to secure a grant from the estate. Therefore, you need to supply as much evidence of your relationship with the deceased as you can when you contact the Treasury Solicitor’s Office/ relevant body representing the Crown.
Prestige Tax and Trust Services
Making a claim on the estate of someone who’s died without leaving a will can be a complex and time-consuming task. That’s why you should let Prestige Tax and Trust Services help; our legal team have the skills, knowledge and experience you need to ensure you receive your rightful share of the estate.