MILLIONS of pounds from the sale of dozens of homes in Denbighshire is waiting to be claimed by its rightful heirs.
There are 33 estates in the county which have been left without an owner after someone’s death.
Many have been unclaimed for years and have been handed over to the Government because the inheritants have not been found.
But, as entitled relatives have up to 12 years after the property is sold to come forward, long last family members could be in line for large sums of money.
With the average house price in Denbighshire being £150,000 this means total cash from homes in the county could be nearly £5 million.
Such estates are classed as Bona Vacantia, the legal name for an ownerless property, and are listed on a website of the same name.
“Bona Vacantia advertises on a regular basis the estates of those who have died without leaving a will or any entitled blood relatives,” said Russell Hayes, a spokesman from the Attorney General’s office.
“The adverts are directed to entitled blood relatives and if, after a reasonable time (about 12 weeks), no claimant comes forward the estate will be administered by the Treasury Solicitor (of which Bona Vacantia is a division) on behalf of the Crown.”
When a person dies with no will or known kin their estate by law passes to the Crown (the Government).
The unclaimed estates can be claimed by the deceased's spouse, civil partner, children or blood relatives who descended from a grandparent.
“During the course of the administration all the assets, including any real or personal property, will be collected in and sold,” said Mr Hayes.
“Generally real property (houses) are sold at public auction. The liabilities of the estate are paid and the money left will eventually be sent to the Treasury where it is paid into the Consolidated Fund.
“If entitled relatives come forward within 12 years of the date that the administration of the estate has been completed then the Treasury Solicitor will account to them (with interest) for their administration of the estate. There is a discretion to pay later than that though.”
The Bona Vacantia lists unclaimed estates dating back to 1997 and shows Denbigh has five unclaimed estates, Ruthin two and Llangollen one.
Two are from an unclassified location within Denbighshire.
A dozen are from Rhyl, 10 from Bodelwyddan, two from Prestatyn.
A Lily Jones who is listed on the website died on July 15, 1997 and was living in Denbigh at the time.
Anyone who believes they are entitled to a person’s estate is required to provide evidence of their blood relationship in the form of birth, marriage and death certificates, along with evidence of their identity.
For more information go to: www.bonavacantia.gov.uk