Scotland unclaimed estates: the full list of surnames which could mean you are a long lost heir

From winning the lottery to striking gold, everybody dreams of one day finding their fortune and coming into piles of money

But for a lucky few sitting on an inheritance they never knew about, this fantasy may not be just a pipe dream – and it’s definitely not an internet scam.

Every year hundreds of people in the UK die without a will, leaving their property, money and other possessions as unclaimed estates.

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There are more than 400 such estates still lying heirless after being left behind by Scots or people domiciled in Scotland, potentially worth millions.

Anyone who thinks they have a claim can send in a family tree showing how they are related to the person who died.
Anyone who thinks they have a claim can send in a family tree showing how they are related to the person who died.

Long lost relatives of the deceased people – potential heirs to their estate – have 10 years to make a claim to the Office of Queen’s and Lord Treasurer’s Remembrancer, which keeps the assets in limbo on behalf of the Crown.

Here’s everything you need to know – and how to make your claim.

Scotland’s unclaimed estates

The QLTR is currently sitting on more than 300 unclaimed estates from people who died without an heir in Scotland over the last 10 years.

Between them, the deceased people had more than 300 surnames, which could be clues to help track down relatives.

Everyone from nieces, nephews, half siblings and their offspring, cousins and half aunts or uncles could have a stake in a person’s estate.

That’s if husbands, wives, parents, children, grandchildren and siblings cannot be tracked down, all of whom come higher up the inheritance pecking order.

The list of surnames in Scotland as of October 20th is available to view here. To see the surnames from your area, hover over the interactive map

This list is not exhaustive – it does not include people who were born in Scotland but domiciled in England, Wales, Northern Ireland or abroad.

And of course families nowadays are spread out all over the UK, so relatives could be dotted around in different regions.

That means you could still be in with a shot at some unclaimed riches, even if you do not have a connection with someone on the Scotland list.

How to check the list and make a claim

The full list of unclaimed estates in Scotland is here.

Anyone who thinks they have a claim can apply to the Commissary Department of the Sheriff Court in the area the deceased person lived, asking to be appointed as executor-dative.

If approved, the applicant must then contact the QLTR with the appointment order alongside proof of their identity, relationship and a family tree, before funds will be paid out.