The Estates Group within the Bona Vacantia Division of the Treasury Solicitor deals with persons who die without leaving a will or any entitled kin. If the deceased's last permanent address was in England & Wales, excluding the Duchies of Cornwall and Lancaster then the Treasury Solicitor is the Crown's nominee for dealing with the estate. In Northern Ireland these matters are dealt with by the Crown Solicitor as the Treasury Solicitor's Nominee. Their address for contact is Crown Solicitor, Royal Courts of Justice, Chichester Street, Belfast BT1 3JY.
In Scotland bona vacantia is administered by the Queen's and Lord Treasurer's Remembrancer.
The Treasury Solicitor only deals with solvent estates leaving a net balance of £500 or above. Approximately 2,000 cases are referred to us each year. We make enquiries for entitled kin failing which we may issue advertisements in both the national and local press, and also upon this website in the entitled relative section.
Respondents to the advertisements are required to provide evidence of their blood relationship in the form of birth, marriage and death certificates, along with evidence of their identity. Respondents may also be asked for anecdotal evidence, if they knew the deceased. If entitled kin are traced, we cease to have any interest or involvement in the estate.
We deal with the full range of assets; bank and building society accounts, life insurance or property, in fact anything that could be owned by someone at the time of death. In disposing of such assets our policy is to optimise the monies raised for the benefit of the public purse and any entitled kin, if traced after the administration of the estate. In certain cases the Treasury Solicitor may make discretionary payments.
If you wish to refer a case to us please click on the deceased persons notification form link shown in the left hand navigation on this page; you will be asked a series of questions in order to provide the kind of information we need to take the matter further, before doing so you may also wish to read our general referral guidelines
or our referral guidelines specifically for local authorities and hospitals