Unclaimed Estates & Missing Inheritances
various kinds of unclaimed Funds in Court, also called Estates in Chancery
or Money in Chancery.
These include: monies paid in under civil litigation and other proceedings dealt with in County Courts and the High Court where no transaction has taken place for a period of 10 years (5 years before 1st December, 2000); awards of the Family Court; compensation from the Civil Injuries Compensation Board; compensation under Compulsory Purchase Acts, in cases where either the ownership of the property is unknown or the owner refuses to accept it; legacies, where missing heirs cannot be found; money lodged for dissenting shareholders; and the net proceeds of sale from mortgage foreclosures when the mortgagor cannot be traced.
The Court Funds Office also receives lodgments of money under County Court suitors’ actions (since 1983) and Queen’s Bench Division actions. If no transaction takes place for a specified period after the lodgment is made, the accounts become eligible for transfer to the dormant funds.
The Dormant Funds Index for all of the unclaimed balance cases can be searched at the public counter of the Court Funds Office. This service is free, with only a small fee for printouts.
You may also apply in writing to the Chancery section of the Court Funds Office, and they will perform a search on your behalf. Write: Chancery/Family Section, Court Funds Office, 22 Kingsway, London WC2B 6LE.
In order to preform the search the Court Funds Office requires the following information:
Note: Court Fund Office records are confidential. They will not be disclosed to anyone who cannot produce evidence of beneficial interest. If a fund in the Index looks relevant to the claimant, the claimant must show evidence that they are entitled to all or part of the fund. The claimant must prove this to the satisfaction of the Court that dealt with the case (the Court of Origin).
The Court Funds Division cannot pay out any money from the fund until the Court of Origin makes an Order for payment. The main sources of evidence are: Orders of the High Court and County Courts, wills, probates and letters of administration; birth, marriage and death registers; and census returns.
Companies Court (including winding-up proceedings) Contact:
Estates which have fallen to the Crown for lack of heirs
Estates of people who died intestate and without known kin are known as "Bona Vacantia", and fall to the Crown. If you believe you are entitled in law to such an estate, write to the appropriate address (below). You will need to outline the basis of your claim, stating the full name of the deceased person, the date of death, the last known address and approximate age.
For England and Wales:
The Treasury Solicitor (Bona Vacantia)
If the deceased person lived in Cornwall:
The Solicitor to the Duchy
If the deceased person lived in Lancashire:
The Solicitor to the Duchy of Lancaster
Scotland: Funds in Court -Enquiries concerning Scottish estates which have fallen to the Crown in default of heirs should be made to:
The Queen's and Lord Treasurer's
Enquiries concerning funds lodged in the Court of Session, and other unclaimed sums resulting from liquidations, bankruptcies, judicial factories, etc., are held (for seven years from the date of consignation) by:
The Accountant of Court
Other enquiries may be made to:
The Keeper of the Records of Scotland
Northern Ireland: Funds in Court -For funds lodged in Court in Northern Ireland since 1921, write to:
The Accountant General
Ireland: Funds in Court:For funds under the control of the Supreme Court and High Court of Justice in Ireland write to:
The Accountant General
For additional information and assistance go to: http://www.officialsolicitor.gov.uk/cfo/unclaimed_making.htm
Court Funds Office - UB Section
Telephone: 0845 223 8500