Home Finance Full list of surnames with unclaimed estates – check if you're likely...

Full list of surnames with unclaimed estates – check if you're likely to be owed money


A significant number of Britons may be unknowingly linked to an estate worth thousands – or even millions of pounds.

The Government’s unclaimed estates list has recently been updated, revealing hundreds of names that could be owed an inheritance.

Gary Hemming from ABC Finance said: “The data reveals a fascinating landscape of forgotten fortunes.

“The revelation of these unclaimed estates serves as a compelling reminder of our connections to the past and the importance of maintaining those links.”

ABC Finance compiled 10 common surnames on the list, with some named as many as 103 times.

  • Smith: 103 unclaimed estates
  • Jones: 66 unclaimed estates
  • Brown: 44 unclaimed estates
  • Williams: 43 unclaimed estates
  • Taylor: 37 unclaimed estates
  • Wilson: 34 unclaimed estates
  • Davies: 29 unclaimed estates
  • Evans: 28 unclaimed estates
  • Thomas: 27 unclaimed estates
  • Johnson: 25 unclaimed estates.

Mr Hemming said: “These figures aren’t just numbers; they represent stories, histories, and potential legacies that are waiting to be claimed.

“With hundreds of estates lingering without rightful owners, the chance that you might be the heir to one of them is not as slim as you might think.

The full list of estates can be found here.

In August 2023, a collective total of as much as £1billion was estimated to be unclaimed. One estate alone was worth almost £19million.

Several factors contribute to estates going unclaimed. According to Mr Hemming, individuals pass away without a will in many cases, or their wills are outdated, not reflecting current familial connections.

Additionally, he added: “The global nature of our world means families are more spread out than ever, losing touch with their roots, which leads to challenges in tracing next of kin.”

However, Mr Hemming noted: “What makes the data truly intriguing is not just the volume of unclaimed estates but the variety and richness of the assets involved.

“These estates could range from quaint countryside cottages to hidden treasures and long-forgotten family heirlooms. Each unclaimed estate is a narrative thread of someone’s life, waiting to be woven back into the family tapestry.”

Beyond individual benefits, claiming these estates has broader implications.

Mr Hemming said: “It ensures that assets are utilised rather than lying dormant, contributing to economic activity. It also allows for the closure of estates, clearing legal and financial obligations that might otherwise remain unresolved.”

People can find out how to claim a deceased person’s estate using the Government’s published guidance here.

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