WHEN someone dies with no will or known family, their property passes to the Crown as ownerless property 

This can be any kind of property, like buildings of any kind, money and even unclaimed personal possessions.

But you could be entitled to a share of a deceased relative’s property if you’re a relative - which is why this is published by the government.

There are dozens of estates of people who were either born or died in County Durham and Darlington which are unclaimed. 

We've looked through latest government records, which are publicly available, to bring you the current list in our region.

The Government updates a list daily with unclaimed estates.

Claims will be accepted within, generally, 12 years from the date the administration of the estate was completed and interest will be paid on the money held.

Who is entitled to claim an estate?

If someone dies without leaving a valid or effective will (intestate) the following are entitled to the estate in the order shown below:

- husband, wife or civil partner

- children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and so on

- mother or father

- brothers or sisters who share both the same mother and father, or their children (nieces and nephews)

- half brothers or sisters or their children (nieces and nephews of the half blood or their children). ‘Half ’ means they share only one parent with the deceased

- grandparents

- uncles and aunts or their children (first cousins or their descendants)

- half uncles and aunts or their children (first cousins of the half blood or their children). ‘Half’ means they only share one grandparent with the deceased, not both

If you are, for example, a first cousin of the deceased, you would only be entitled to share in the estate if there are no relatives above you in the order of entitlement, for example, a niece or nephew.