The value of assets owned by Britons who die intestate has nearly doubled in just a year, which means that the estates of more and more people are being transferred to HM Treasury.
Where there is no Will naming a beneficiary and no next of kin can be found, any unclaimed assets are passed to the crown. Last year the state received £33.5 million from the estates of people who died intestate, up from £17 million the previous year. These unclaimed assets are predominantly smaller estates rather than assets owned by more wealthy people.
This could be a result of people's presumption that the assets they own have an insignificant value, deciding that writing a Will is not essential. Other cases may involve Wills that have not been updated to reflect the real value of a deceased person's estate, or lack of knowledge as to where the Will has been stored. There is also a risk that the people listed as beneficiaries in the Will may have not survived the person writing it.
Data from the Legal Services Commission shows that more than one in six people in Britain die without recording their final wishes.
Research shows that currently 58% of UK adults don’t have a Will. Are you one of them?