If an individual dies and for whatever reason executors or the Treasury Solicitor’s department are unable to track down beneficiaries, the unclaimed estate falls under the care of the Bona Vacantia and Government Legal Department.
The Division publishes a list of unclaimed estates which have been recently referred, but not yet administered, and historic cases which have been administered but not yet been claimed within the time limits for doing so.
You can view the unclaimed estates list by following the download link at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/unclaimed-estates-list.
In a recent announcement, government sources provided the following advice on this process:
Some people have experienced an intermittent problem downloading the Unclaimed estates list. We are investigating the cause of the issue.
The list is published in a Comma Separated Values (CSV) file format. This acts like a spreadsheet and although it can be opened in any text editor it is best viewed in a spreadsheet application, such as Microsoft Excel, Google Docs or OpenOffice Calc.
If you are looking for a particular estate you can search by using Ctrl-F in your browser, text editor or spreadsheet application.
The list is updated every working day and newly advertised estates appear at the top of the list. After one day of publication, new estates drop into the rest of the list in alphabetical order.
Any estates where the Bona Vacantia division (BVD) no longer has an interest, for example, when a claim to an estate has been admitted, will be removed daily. Estates where the 30-year time limit from the date of death has expired are also removed.