A NUMBER of Bradfordians could inherit a fortune they didn’t know existed after heir hunters identified a haul of unclaimed estates in the district.

The unclaimed estates are left by people who died without a will and no next of kin meaning it can still be claimed by those who can prove a relationship.

The full list, compiled using the Bona Vacantia list published by the Government Legal Department, shows there’s 89 estates located in Bradford.

Figures show there’s more than 8,000 unclaimed estates across the UK with 155 up-for-grabs in neighbouring Leeds.

Now heir hunters are urging people to check if they’re a rightful heir as Bradford takes eighth place in the country for unclaimed estates.

Philip Turvey, the executive director of Anglia Research, said the findings were “bittersweet” as recipients often find they had a whole side of the family they never got the chance to meet.

Mr Turvey told the Telegraph & Argus: “For those living in the towns and cities on our Unclaimed Estates Index, this is good news, but can also be bittersweet. On the one hand, they might well be due an inheritance from an estranged relative they don’t know about, but on the other, it could mean a whole side of their family they might never get the chance to meet.

“Probate genealogists, or heir hunters, in the UK are always working to unite the assets from an unclaimed estate with the deceased’s next of kin.

“So, if someone comes knocking on your door saying they’re an heir hunter, don’t turn them away – you might be due a fortune.”

The research, conducted by Anglia Research, also found the top surnames shared by those who died without a will.

There are currently 156 people with the last name Smith who died without a will, heralding a potential inheritance for those who share the most common name in Britain.

The top five names included Jones in second place with 100 unclaimed estates; Taylor with 73 unclaimed estates; Brown with 66 unclaimed estates and Williams in fifth place with 58.