40 UK estates go unclaimed every week due to lack of wills

Recent research has revealed that as many as 40 estates go unclaimed every week, due to the increasing number of Britons failing to write a will and arrange their bequests.

‘Lost documents’ have also been cited as a key reason for assets winding up unclaimed and finding their way onto the Government Legal Department’s official ‘bona vacantia’ listings.

Current estimates suggest that as many as one in five estates listed by the bona vacantia (or ‘vacant goods’ lists) are governed by a will which has been misplaced or lost following a death.

Such estates end up advertised publicly at a rate of around 40 estates a week, according to reports – and family members are increasingly finding themselves disinherited due to poor planning.

It is common knowledge that, under intestacy rules, married and civil partners will inherit their spouse’s personal belongings and the first £250,000 of an estate, whereas children will inherit half of any sum over £250,000 – unless there is no living spouse.

However, partners who are unmarried, along with friends, carers and charities actually have no right to inherit anything unless they are listed in a recognised will.

The only way to ensure that your wishes will be honoured following your death is to appoint a wills and probate specialist to assist you in drafting an air-tight will today.

Carter Lemon Camerons LLP Solicitors is a City law firm which provides wills and probate services with a personal touch to its clients. Unlike many City practices we are happy to act in smaller private legal matters, bringing the same care and consideration as we do to large commercial matters.  If you require advice on wills and probate, please contact Ian West or Michael Woodward or telephone: 020 7406 1000.