WAS winning the lottery or striking gold on your list of goals for 2022? Well we may have found an easier way of finding your fortune.
Searching for your surname on a list of unclaimed estates could be the first step to you inheriting a pile of money.
Every year around €100 million worth of estates in Spain goes unclaimed after the owners pass away without making a will or naming a next of kin to inherit their assets.
Around 40%of Spaniards fail to draw up a last will, meaning that if their legal heirs cannot be found, their assets go to the State. In the case of Spain, that amounts to approximately €83 million over the last decade.
Relatives then have the right to make a claim for a share of the estate.
Spanish law allows relatives with up to fourth-degree kinship to inherit intestate estates, which includes great-great grandchildren, first cousins, as well as great-great grandparents.
If someone dies in Spain without making a will or naming someone to inherit their fortune, notaries are obliged to contact all possible heirs, which traditionally has been done through Spain’s Official State Bulletin (BOE).
While notaries try and do everything to identify relatives to inherit the fortunes, very few people outside government actually read the BOE.
But now it is far easier to claim unwanted estates, thanks to the Coutot-Roehrig which is the largest probate research company in Europe who do their best to contact people all over the world who are owed assets.
In the UK, the list of unclaimed estates is held by the government’s Bona Vacantia Division and updated daily.
You can also check if you have any right to unclaimed estates in the UK, even if a relative has died in Spain.
The list of unclaimed estates in the UK is held by the government’s Bona Vacantia Division and updated daily.
One way to check if any of your possible relatives left unclaimed estates is to search for surnames in your family tree. If you’ve got a Sutherland in your family, you could be the rightful heir to £23890.01 left by someone who died in Tenerife in May 2019 without leaving a will.