5. Refer an estate

If you know someone who has died with no will or known blood relatives, you can tell one of the bodies representing the Crown about their estate.

You should only refer an estate if:

  • the person didn’t leave a will
  • there are no blood relatives
  • the person left more funds than debt – otherwise the estate is ‘insolvent’

How to refer an estate

In England and Wales (except the Duchies of Cornwall or Lancaster), you can download the forms to refer the estate.

The Government Legal Department only handles estates worth £500 or more.

In Scotland, Northern Ireland or the Duchies of Cornwall or Lancaster contact the relevant body representing the Crown.