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A surprise windfall of £250,000 from a Man living with no electricity

  • 2 years ago
Richard Ticehurst property

Richard Ticehurst sadly passed away in Eastbourne in February this year leaving a £250,000 estate to relatives he had never met.  

Leading up to his death, Richard had been living in very poor conditions, with no electricity or gas and was known to function in the evenings with a torch light on his head.

Richard Ticehurst property in Eastbourne where the top floor ceiling had collapsed
Richard Ticehurst property in Eastbourne where the top floor ceiling had collapsed

The local authority was tasked to arrange his funeral which is when Probate Genealogists, Finders International, – stars of BBC‘s Heir Hunters – was brought to start researching into Richard’s family.

It was quickly established that he was an only child and had never married or had children – but that Richard had an estate worth £250,000 and 31 relatives across five countries and three continents set to inherit a surprise windfall.

One of the beneficiaries traced was Yvonne Fraser, a second cousin of Richard’s. Yvonne had emigrated to Australia from Manchester in 1974, was one of the beneficiaries traced. She was shocked to hear of the news as she had never heard of her distant relative.

Speaking about the surprise money, the mum-of-two said: ‘It came out of the blue. I never knew anything about Richard; however, when Finders explained the connections it made sense.

‘I now understand that my mother Muriel Ticehurst, who died in 2019, was a first cousin of Richard.’

Richard Ticehurst living room – where he lived in very poor conditions.
Richard Ticehurst living room – where he lived in very poor conditions.

Tragically Richard died unlikely to have known about any of his distant relatives.

Danny Curran, from Finders International: said: ‘Part of our research often brings us to the property where the deceased lived to source key documents, such as a Will. The search of Richard’s house provided a glimpse into how he lived.

‘It was quite shocking and incredibly sad to see.’

Despite the rundown state of his house and the very poor living conditions, Richard had in excess of a quarter of a million pounds in his estate.

Room of RichardHis mother, Gladys, had also been an only child so the research team focused on his father Alfred’s side of the family and found a total of 31 residents in England, Scotland, Canada, Australia and America.

And while Richard was never able to meet his long-lost family, Yvonne is thrilled to have been reconnected with hers because of Richard’s estate.

She said: ‘I am totally in awe of how Finders traced me and indeed found us all, scattered throughout the world.’

If no relatives had been discovered, the money would have gone to the Crown.

Finders International also revealed there is a staggering £3.3million waiting to be claimed – with 6,7000 cases still languishing on the government’s unclaimed estates list.Inside of Richard's house

The full story can be read in the following publications:

Up until 2020, Finders International offered probate property management services but we have since expanded resulting in the creation of Finders International Estate Agents. Here we can deliver a tried and trusted probate property management service through our dedicated Probate property team. To find our more and see our properties, visit here: or contact us directly on [email protected] or 020 3859 5311.

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