£3m in limbo as people fail to make a will

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MORE than 400 homes and valuables worth a total of £3m are sitting unclaimed in Scotland because people are not leaving a will.

Included in the haul of estates currently in limbo are homes, pensions, dormant bank accounts and premium bonds – some dating as far back as 1978.

Unless relatives come forward the cash will be eventually rolled into the accounts of the Scottish Government.

In Scotland five estates worth more than £40,000 are currently lying unclaimed.

The biggest is the £298,000 estate left by Gina Parenti who lived in Copland Place, Glasgow, before her death in 2013.

The fortunes of 82-year-old originally from Borgo Val di Taro, Parma in Italy are sitting in wait until a relative comes forward.

Another, worth £50,000, belonged to Elizabeth Robertson, of Crewe Road North, Edinburgh, who died in 2008 aged 70.

People generally have 10 years from the date of death to come forward, or two years after the estate is advertised by the Office of Queen’s and Lord Treasurer’s Remembrancer.

Iain Considine, a senior partner with law firm Aberdein Considine, which uncovered the figures, said: “If no blood relatives come forward then the estate passes to the Crown.

“However, a simple will would have spared all the red tape and mystery around these estates and made sure the money went to the people who deserve it, rather than letting it default to the government.”

Derek Barton, from the National Pensioners Convention, said: “It is really important that people of all ages sort out their will so the Government doesn’t get it because they do get an awful lot of money out of it, and why should they?”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “We would urge everyone to consider making a will to ensure their estates can be properly passed on to their next of kin.”

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