Please read our introduction to Bona Vacantia and Escheat before proceeding.
Will the Duchy of Lancaster or the Duchy of Cornwall be involved in my enquiry?
Our firm acts for the Duchy of Lancaster and the Duchy of Cornwall where they have authority over bona vacantia. Please check if the postcode of the last address of the individual you're interested in falls within the boundaries of the Duchies.
Duchy boundaries explained
When someone dies intestate (without a will) and without relatives entitled to the estate under the intestacy rules (known kin) the Duchies of Lancaster and Cornwall administer the estate if the person’s last known address falls within the Duchies’ respective geographical jurisdiction.
If the deceased’s last known address was in the County Palatine (largely Lancashire and parts of Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Cumbria) the Duchy of Lancaster has jurisdiction over the estate.
If the deceased’s last known address was in the County of Cornwall (the county boundary with Devon follows the River Tamar and the county includes the Isles of Scilly) the Duchy of Cornwall has jurisdiction over the estate.
To find out whether the Duchy of Lancaster or the Duchy of Cornwall may have authority over the estate you are interested in search for the postcode of the deceased's last known address using the buttons below.
If the postcode is not on the list, you will need to contact the Treasury Solicitor who represents the Crown in bona vacantia matters for the majority of England and Wales. The Duchies’ procedures for the administration of bona vacantia are very similar to those of the Treasury Solicitor.