In a recent news article, it has been highlighted that the reported cases of people who have sadly died without leaving a will has more than doubled over the past five years.
Their estates are then passed onto the Treasury in London and often these cases sit for years without any relatives realising that they may be entitled to inherit from a long lost member of their family over the last year. Sarah Gillard and Zoe Mansfield, who work in our Private Client Department are specialist's in intestate estates.
Many people pass away without leaving a will and on occasions the deceased appears to have no relatives. This can cause problems with funeral arrangements and the distribution of an estate if that person has assets. This is where Kitsons can help. It is very rare for a person not to have cousins, even if they don’t have a wife, children or siblings.
Often we can locate a beneficiary within a short space of time (sometimes within 24 hours) and contact them. They will normally instruct Kitsons to commence the administration of the estate. We will then put the family member in touch with the funeral director and start to administer the estate, arrange a house clearance and market as necessary. We have vast experience in dealing with properties in all internal conditions.
If there appears to be no beneficiary and the funeral can be covered by the deceased assets, then we can arrange the funeral, place an obituary and often attend the funeral to speak to friends and neighbours to see if they are aware of any family members in a delicate manner. If we cannot locate a beneficiary the case is sent to a specialist genealogist to confirm our findings and only after they confirm they cannot locate anyone, the case will be sent to the Treasury.
In short, Kitsons can prevent an unnecessary delay in arranging the funeral and the administration of a deceased’s affairs.
Once the administration is underway, we will do further research to piece together the family tree and locate the rest of the beneficiaries. They will then be contacted and advised of the death of the family member and the possibility that they may be entitled to a share of the estate.