If someone dies with no will or known family, their property passes to the Crown as ownerless property.

It can be any kind of property, like buildings, money or personal possessions.

The Government produces a list of unclaimed estates in Britain and updates this on a daily basis. 

If you spot your surname or think you see a relatve on the list you could be entitled to a share of a deceased's property.

There are dozens of people who died in Essex on the list. 

Here is a table with the names of people who died in north and south Essex:

There are also unclaimed estate for people who died in Essex. 

The list is also updated so regularly, new unclaimed estates are being added all the time. 

Read more:

Claims will be accepted within, generally, 12 years from the date the administration of the estate was completed and interest will be paid on the money held.

Who is entitled to claim an estate?

If someone dies without leaving a valid or effective will (intestate) the following are entitled to the estate in the order shown below:

  • Husband, wife or civil partner
  • Children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and so on
  • Mother or father
  • Brothers or sisters who share both the same mother and father, or their children (nieces and nephews)
  • Half brothers or sisters or their children (nieces and nephews of the half blood or their children). ‘Half ’ means they share only one parent with the deceased
  • Grandparents
  • Uncles and aunts or their children (first cousins or their descendants)
  • Half uncles and aunts or their children (first cousins of the half blood or their children). ‘Half’ means they only share one grandparent with the deceased, not both

If you are, for example, a first cousin of the deceased, you would only be entitled to share in the estate if there are no relatives above you in the order of entitlement, for example, a niece or nephew.

If your relationship to the deceased is traced through someone who survived the deceased but has since died, you will need to confirm who is entitled to deal with that person’s estate.

To check the list yourself, click here.

Have you ever been eligible to claim an estate? Tell us your story in the comments.