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Heir hunters spend their lives tracking down
the families of people who've died without leaving a will.
They hand over thousands of pounds to long-lost relatives,
who had no idea they were in line for a windfall.
Could they be knocking at your door?
On today's show, things aren't going smoothly for the heir hunters.
You know, Whitehaven ain't that far away, is it?
It's just a joke this. It's a joke. Somebody's having a laugh.
And an unexpected inheritance
propels one pensioner on a trip of a lifetime.
Plus a list of unclaimed estates worth nearly half a million pounds.
Are you related to anyone on it?
Every year, over 300,000 people die without leaving a will.
If no family is found, their money goes to the government.
That's when the heir hunting companies step in.
They race against each other to be the first
to track down any long-lost relatives entitled to inherit.
Fraser & Fraser is the largest firm of heir hunters in the country.
Nicky is the half sister.
In its 30-year history, the company has tracked down
over 50,000 heirs, entitled to a whopping sum of over £100 million.
It's 7am, Thursday, in Fraser & Fraser's central London office.
Thursday is always a crucial day for the heir hunters,
as it's when the government releases its weekly list
of those who've died with no known heirs.
Where's my toast I ordered?
Holding the reins today is senior case manager David Milchard,
known to his workmates as Grimble.
Hello. Fraser & Fraser.
But not known for his technological skills.
Grimble has already chosen the estate they're going to pursue today
and has got the ball rolling on the research.
This guy called Joseph Hilliard...
Looks like he lived in a small mining town up in Sunderland.
Looks like the only case this morning that's worth looking at.
The reason Frasers are interested in Joseph Hilliard
is because they found out he owned
this mining cottage in Sunderland, which could be worth some money.
If he bought the property 20 years ago,
the values there would probably be around about 60,000, so...
Joseph Hilliard ended his days alone in a residential care home.
He died without leaving a will, and nobody knew if he had any family.
If Frasers can track down any relatives,
then these people will be entitled to Joseph Hilliard's £60,000.
With rival companies hot on their heals, Grimble needs to act fast.
He's got a hunch that if Joseph Hilliard does have
any living relatives, they will most likely live near to where he died -
We tend to find, particularly up in the northeast,
they tend to stay, they're pretty static there,
so it's more likely that he's a local lad.
I don't think he's come from Birmingham or something like that.
Sunderland is 300 miles away
from the Frasers' office in London,
but fortunately for heir hunters,
distance is no problem.
Frasers employs a team of travelling heir hunters,
who spend their Thursdays poised for action.
Thanks a lot, mate.
Ready to go wherever the hunt takes them.
These travellers cover every corner of the country
and aim to get to any heirs in record time and sign them up
before the competition.
The nearest travelling heir hunter to Sunderland
is Manchester-based Dave Mansell.
Ahhhh, life's hard, ain't it?
Don't get too comfy, Dave. Life's just about to get harder.
Aye. All right, I'm just gonna get Dave Mansell on the road,
get him out of bed.
He needs to get northeast as soon as possible
to make sure he reaches any heirs before rival heir hunters.
He ain't too happy.
It is a bit of a jaunt really, from Manchester to Sunderland.
And big boss Neil Fraser makes an executive decision.
Um, let's get another guy going up there.
It's...um...Ewart or Smith.
Because there's only one estate worth following today,
senior researcher Ewart Lindsay is also enlisted.
Hello, mate. Can you start heading towards Sunderland?
Sunderland?! Oh dear... Oh, right, OK.
Yes, you know, that little place slightly north of London.
I'll probably arrive half twelve.
It'll take me four or five hours, yeah.
Yeah. OK. All right. Speak to you later. OK. Bye.
Ah... I've just got a long drive ahead.
A LONG drive ahead.
So it's a good night...
It's a good thing I had a good night's sleep last night.
Ewart's going to have to travel the length of the country.
It's an unusual decision to send a travelling heir hunter so far.
Do you still wanna send two up there?
And minutes after making the call, Grimble thinks they've made a mistake.
Whilst Ewart and Dave speed towards Sunderland,
the office team press ahead with the research.
To have any chance of finding the heirs,
they need to build a family tree,
working out generation by generation who is related to Joseph Hilliard.
-Do you want to give Simon and Debbie a hand?
But first off,
they need to work out which Joseph Hilliard they are dealing with.
Joseph Hilliard isn't a unique name,
and the team don't yet know their Joseph Hilliard's birth date
or the place where he was born.
-Got rid of one.
-Only, he must have several.
So far, the team have found two Joseph Hilliards
in the north of England alone -
one in Lanchester on the northeast coast
and one in Whitehaven on the other side of the country.
The first rule of heir hunting
is that people usually die near to where they were born,
so the team take an educated guess
and decide to follow up the Joseph Hilliard from Lanchester.
Senior researcher Gareth Langford sets to the detective work,
trying to piece together Joseph Hilliard's family history.
It is very speculative at the moment.
We've... There's a birth in...1922 in Lanchester
that we're gonna look at... and hopefully, it's the right one.
But at this stage, we can't really tell.
Until we've got an actual date or a certificate,
we've got to follow up everything that we think might be right.
It's just too risky.
Gareth begins the family tree, but Grimble isn't totally convinced.
I'd put that in pencil myself.
Yeah, but I'd have to re-write the entire thing anyway.
The only way of getting any concrete information
is to look at Joseph Hilliard's death certificate,
held at Sunderland register office.
This will show his date of birth
and confirm whether they are following up
the right Joseph Hilliard.
Collecting the certificate would normally be the first job
for the travelling heir hunter when they arrive in Sunderland.
With the clock ticking and travellers Dave and Ewart still miles away,
Grimble decides to ask a favour from a contact up north.
Skip doing the enquiry for now.
Can you go ahead straight to Sunderland registry,
to get them to see his death cert?
Because we're having difficulty proving his date and place of birth.
It will still take a good hour to get the certificate.
OK, then. All right, cheers. Bye.
Frasers won't be the only company
trying to find heirs to the Hilliard estate,
so the team can't afford to sit and wait.
Fraser & Fraser have spent hundreds of thousands of pounds
on data about the British public,
ranging from libraries of old phone directories to reels of microfilm
listing birth, death and marriage records.
Gareth searches through these
to find the name of the Lanchester Joseph Hilliard's mother,
and once he has this, he looks to see if she had any other children.
We've got a brother and a sister.
We've just found the death of the brother, who died in infancy,
and we're now looking for Mary W, so...
Further research shows that this sister is no longer alive.
But all is not lost.
Gareth thinks he's found someone who could prove just as exciting.
We found the sister of the deceased, Joseph,
and she married to a Bartholemew O'Flaherty in 1956.
They had one daughter, who was born in 1957,
and they still live in the same area,
so once we had the names, it wasn't difficult at all.
The family tree of the Lanchester Joseph Hilliard
now includes a brother and sister, both deceased,
and Gareth thinks he's found his first heir -
the daughter of Joseph Hilliard's late sister.
I quite like it. I think it's right.
So...we have to wait and see.
Coming up, a change of direction in the office...
All the work we've done this morning is no good.
..sends Ewart on a wild goose chase.
You're gonna love this one. I've been diverted. Back to London.
And Dave battles with the elements...
No, no. Don't split hairs, Dave.
Heir hunters are genealogical private detectives,
but they can't solve every case. Maybe you could help.
Kenneth McDonald died aged 71
in Wandsworth, London.
Kenneth died in June 1996,
Are you related to Kenneth?
Should his money go to you?
William Forde died in Arandale,
West Sussex, aged 83.
William passed away in July 2007
with no known relatives,
leaving a sum of £25,000.
Do you know William Forde?
Should you get his money
rather than the government?
Beryl Joan Hudson died
in Colchester, Essex,
in July 2006, aged 86.
Beryl left an estate worth £18,000.
Are you part of Beryl's family?
Do you know someone who is?
If you think you might be related to any of these people
and entitled to their money, then please look at our website at...
..for details on what to do next.
At Fraser & Fraser, the heir hunters are looking for relatives of a Joseph Hilliard,
who died in Sunderland, leaving an estate worth around £60,000.
There are two travelling heir hunters on today's case -
Dave, who is racing up from Manchester,
and Ewart, who is on a 300-mile drive from London.
Unable to confirm Joseph's birth date
and working on the basis that people tend to die
near to where they were born,
Frasers' researchers have drawn up a family tree
for a Lanchester-born Joseph Hilliard.
They now look like they've got their first heir - a niece.
What we've now got to do
is try to get a contact telephone number for the niece.
We'll also get somebody heading towards her house.
Grimble gets on the phone to traveller Dave.
We think we've found the right family.
We've got a possible niece of the deceased,
living in Consett.
In Consett, right.
'Yeah. Hoping it's all right.'
Ron Wright's going to get the death to prove we're on the right family.
'So if you head to Consett, hopefully by then,'
it'll prove to be correct and I'll give you the full details.
Nice place, Consett, I have been before.
With only one heir to sign up,
one traveller seems like more than enough,
but Ewart's two hours into his journey.
If we're right, we think we've found...a niece of the deceased.
-Yeah, where are you now anyway?
-Just gone through Leicester.
-Righto, you're too far away.
Might as well come back.
All right, so I'll head back and see... OK, all right, then.
After all that!
We've got to turn around.
So there's nothing for me to do. Just turn back round.
I was looking forward to my trip in Sunderland(!)
With Ewart on his way back to London
and Dave heading towards Consett,
things area all working out nicely for Dave.
But then, Grimble gets a phone call from his contact in Sunderland.
He's got Joseph Hilliard's death certificate.
As long as it confirms that he was born in 1922,
the team know that the Lanchester Joseph Hilliard is the right one.
18th of June...
Right, Ron Wright's got the death of the deceased and unfortunately,
it's indicated that the birth for the Joseph Hilliard in 1922 is wrong,
because according to the death, he's born in 1931.
Gareth's Lanchester-born Joseph Hilliard was a red herring,
and the family tree they've drawn up is all wrong.
All the work we've done this morning is no good.
It's completely wrong family.
The niece - what we thought was the niece -
she's not part of the family at all,
so it's all back to the drawing board, really.
Coming up, will the team be able to make up for lost time?
-Right, I'm on the wrong side of the country.
-'Yeah, I know.'
Or will they be beaten to the heirs by the competition?
-30 seconds ago, you've told me that the...
-..family you've worked is wrong.
60 miles south of London in the sleepy town of Burgess Hill
is the epicentre of a very different heir hunting organisation.
Oh, oh, yes, I know,
about ringing West Yorkshire to find out
where the Newby Hall archives have gone to.
I'll do that.
Thank you very much.
Husband and wife Charles and Mary Teviot
run two his and hers probate research companies from their family home.
Right, I think I'll make a note of that.
We share things. We share the microfiche readers,
we share the computers,
sometimes we get cross with each other and sometimes we don't.
I've just found it hard to get hold of the Irish telephone number.
Go onto Google
and put in Irish telephone directories or Irish post offices.
Far from hi-tech, the Teviots work from two converted bedrooms
with a wardrobe doubling up as a national records archive.
This cupboard actually had a bed in it, which came down.
So we got rid of the bed.
There were two bedrooms here and bits were added on, we've got two offices.
Which is pretty handy. And so we work away here, and it's really quite nice
just to get up in the morning
-and come straight downstairs.
And not have to get on a train or a bus or go anywhere.
And they're not your average Joe Public.
In fact, Charles and Mary are a lord and a lady, although they don't stand on ceremony.
I suppose if you're not cor blimey, it might help a little bit,
but then very often, one wouldn't say one was Lord or Lady Teviot.
They got their title through Charles's father,
seen here with none other than Winston Churchill.
He'd served in Neville Chamberlain's government in the 1930s
and was made a hereditary peer in 1940.
Didn't inherit a lot of money at all,
but I suppose, you know, a seat in the House of Lords
and one thing and another sort of rather led from that,
and one went on.
Charles and Mary share an interest in genealogy
and for the past 30 years have been making a living from heir hunting.
I think it's kind of like a form of detective work without having any hassle with criminals.
Whether it's because we're both only children
and we're interested in other people's families,
-and I think that other people's lives are very interesting, aren't they?
-Well, they are.
I mean, they can be boring, but basically, they're interesting.
One of the couple's recent success stories was the hunt for an heir
to the £15,000 unclaimed estate of a Raymond Edwards.
Raymond was 80 when he died in 1999.
He left no will and no known relatives.
His name had been on the government's list of unclaimed estates for nine years
and had been ignored by heir hunting companies like Frasers because the value was too low.
But it was a perfect case for the Teviots.
My policy is to do old cases
of...you know, fairly low value so, hopefully, we don't get competition.
Charles set to work finding out all he could about Raymond Edwards.
He was born in 1922,
and one went back to 1920
and found the parents getting married so that was all right,
and then one looked to see if he had any other brothers and sisters.
Charles then discovered that Raymond had had a sister seven years his junior.
One found, in 1929, Irene Elizabeth Rosetta.
But there was a problem.
Irene Edwards was recorded in the electoral rolls up until 1960,
but then mysteriously disappeared.
So I mean, she more or less what you might call vanished into thin air,
as one thought, but one had to find her.
Where had this sister gone?
And if she was alive, why didn't she know that her brother had died?
To find out what had happened to Irene,
Charles looked through marriage and death records.
You've got to marry that person off or kill them off.
Anyway, as far as Irene,
we didn't marry her off and we didn't kill her off,
but we couldn't proceed any further until we found her, so to speak.
Convinced that Irene Edwards must still be alive,
Charles was at a loss as to how to proceed,
but he then came across another method for tracking down missing people.
There's this new service called Traceline,
and so one paid a sum of money and fills in the form.
A letter written by Charles was sent via Traceline
to a person he hoped would be Raymond's long lost sister.
It found its way to a residential home in Lincolnshire,
where 79-year-old Irene lives.
Well, I was intrigued because I have three Christian names,
and I couldn't think of anyone who would know all three Christian names.
So out of sheer interest, I thought,
I must find out where this letter is from.
When Irene replied, Charles knew he'd found his heir.
He now had to break the unhappy news
that her only brother had died a whole nine years ago.
As each year his birthday came round, I used to think,
I wonder what's happening to him,
I wonder if he's all right, and I thought eventually,
that some time or other, he would...he would die.
But, of course, you sort of think
that somehow or other, people will find out and will let you know,
so...it was a shock to know that he'd died so long ago.
Irene and Raymond had a happy childhood,
living with their parents in this house in Mitcham, Surrey.
We did used to play indoor games like cards,
we used to play cards and "I spy..." I would always got my nose
in a book, and he'd always be making something somewhere.
He was a lot more serious, I think, on his outlook on life than I was.
I was the joker.
Awful little type I was.
Always turning everything into a joke.
But no, he wasn't like that at all.
In 1958, Raymond got married,
and this pushed the siblings further apart.
We didn't really get on terribly well with his wife,
we just didn't... didn't sort of connect at all.
He never came round to see us, and we never went round to see them,
so it just sort of...after that...
then I moved away, we just lost touch completely.
It's the sort of thing that often happened in those days.
People moved away, you moved to a different area.
You didn't have a telephone or anything, so...
The last time Irene saw her brother was forty years ago
at their father's funeral.
Even then we didn't sort of rush up to each other and hug each other
or anything like that, because we'd say we just didn't do that.
So... I don't know how he was feeling.
I'm just sorry that...
I didn't see as much of him as perhaps we could have done in...
in older years.
Today, Charles is heading over to see Irene
to talk her through the paperwork.
He also explains that her £15,000 windfall
may have actually gone up in value.
As Raymond died in 1999,
you've got eight...a good eight years, or eight plus years,
-to get interest.
-Oh, that would be nice.
I mean, anything is nice when it comes out of the blue like that.
Well, it is.
I mean, I'm surprised in actual fact
that there is as much money in my brothers...
erm...account, whatever you like to call it.
Well, I think he must have been careful.
Raymond might have been careful with his money,
but that doesn't mean Irene has to be.
She's not interested in spending her windfall on paying the bills
but has something altogether different in mind.
I'd like to go up in a helicopter.
It would be quite... quite nice to go up
and have an aerial view of where... where we live.
Charles hasn't met many 79-year-olds with such a sense of adventure.
His mission accomplished, he heads back home.
It will take several months for Raymond's money to come through,
but safe in the knowledge that it's on its way,
Irene decides to fulfil the dream of a lifetime.
Nearing 80 and having had both of her knees replaced,
Irene is one of the pluckiest helicopter passengers.
Grab onto there. You never done much tap dancing in your day, have you?
I have, but I was a lot livelier then.
-See my new knee joints.
She's given the full VIP treatment.
Shall I tighten them up a bit?
-Shall I tighten them up a little bit?
They're all right, they feel quite tight.
OK, all right, then. There you go.
-Do you want to go up towards York?
OK, shall we go and see that? That'll be perfect. That'll be just right.
It's time for Irene's dream to come true.
Not a good start.
But it will take more than a shaky start to faze Irene.
'It was something that I've always wanted to do,
'but I wouldn't have done it if I hadn't had the help from Raymond.'
If Charles hadn't managed to track down Irene,
she might not have learned of her brother's death
and wouldn't have experienced
this unexpected pleasure late in her own life.
So wherever you are, dear, thank you very much indeed.
An unexpected windfall can change a life,
and you too could be in line to inherit some money.
Patrick Kielly died aged 82 in Sleaford, Lincolnshire.
Patrick died in April 2006, leaving £26,000. Are you related to him?
Could you be entitled to his cash?
Doreen Hudson died in Bradford, West Yorkshire, aged 76.
Doreen's estate is valued at £14,000, and nobody has claimed it.
Do you know Doreen Hudson?
Could you be one of her heirs?
Sarah Blygh died in Camberley,
Surrey, in February 2007.
Sarah was 79 when she passed away
and left an estate worth £17,000.
Might you be part of Sarah's family?
Do you know someone who is?
If you are related to any of these people,
then you could be entitled to inherit their money.
For further information,
take a look at our website
and follow details
on what to do next.
Sometimes, even the professionals struggle to track down heirs.
Like the team at Fraser & Fraser, who today are trying to find
the relatives of a Joseph Hilliard,
who died leaving an estate worth around £60,000.
The team thought they'd found an heir,
but then realised they were researching the wrong family.
They've wasted four hours and have two travelling heir hunters
in the wrong parts of the country.
All the work we've done this morning is no good.
Ewart is heading back to London, having been turned back to base.
Dave is near Consett,
about to call on the wrong Joseph Hilliard's niece.
And the right Joseph Hilliard was born in Whitehaven
which, by heir hunting rules,
is where the heirs are now most likely to be.
As Joseph Hilliard's estate is the only one worth any money
on today's government list,
there's a fair chance rival companies may have reached heirs
Head honcho Neil is not happy.
He calls a crisis meeting to try to decide
where to send the travelling heir hunters next.
So we need Ewart still up there.
If this person is right, we're now on the other side of the country.
If you sent Ewart to Whitehaven,
by the time we knew anything was right, he would be half way there.
-If he wasn't, then he can come home again.
-It could be a mammoth job.
-30 seconds ago, you've told me that the...
-..family you've worked is wrong.
Do you want him or not?
We don't even know if Whitehaven's gonna be right anyway.
-I'll stop him, all right?
And what do you do? Keep Mansell going in case it comes across?
Well, ask him. I mean...
Well, you know, until we know where we're going...
Right, well, send Ewart across then.
-We've worked the wrong family so far, and we've got two travellers in the middle of...
I'll send them to Whitehaven.
Case manager Marcus alerts Ewart in his own charming style.
Well, just head for Whitehaven and we'll tell ya.
Yeah? All right, mate. Bye.
Ewart was on his way back to base,
but now the office are sending him back up north.
I've been diverted, after doing about a hundred miles...
diverted, now, I'm going to...
So in total, in two days, I'll probably do about 700 miles.
At least, Ewart is taking the news in his stride,
and Grimble is also trying to look on the bright side.
We've got to speculate, take a chance.
All right, we've spent three... three or four hours...
OK, it turned out to be the wrong family,
but, hey, being the right family, what would we have been doing?
We would have been sitting round doing nothing for four hours.
But with Dave ten minutes from the end of his three-hour journey
to a person he thinks is his first heir,
how is he going to react when he finds out
he's actually on the road to nowhere?
Grimble tries to be diplomatic.
Where is Consett at all? That's...
We're on the A68.
Yeah... Just hang on, I'll get the map, cos we've got it handy.
Eight to ten miles from Consett now.
Yeah, well, brilliant.
'OK. Can you continue along that road?'
Whitehaven's on the west coast, Grimble.
It's the thinnest part of England up there, isn't it?
The timing might be comic,
but it doesn't look like David sees the funny side.
-Well, I'm on the wrong side of the country.
-Yeah, I know.
Well, God knows how long it will take us.
Yeah. All right.
He ain't happy with that.
Got to head towards Whitehaven.
We're on the east side of the country,
now he wants me to go to the very west side.
It's just a joke, this. It's a joke. Somebody's having a laugh.
Dave's just driven 150 miles in the wrong direction
and somebody else who is definitely not having a laugh is Ewart.
He's just been pulled over by the boys in blue for driving too fast.
-Do you know why we've stopped you?
-I'm not too sure.
An educated guess?
-I'm not too sure.
Just before the M6 toll...
..the police flagged me,
flashed me, pulled over and said, "Oh, er...
"Do you know why we've stopped you?" "I haven't got a clue."
"Oh, you were speeding, you were doing 90 miles an hour."
I was gonna say, "Everyone drives at 90 miles an hour,"
but you know... So they fined me £60
and three points off my licence.
It looks like nobody's having a good day at Fraser & Fraser,
and unless they manage to get to Whitehaven before any of their competitors,
it could be one of the worst days they've had.
One of those less than memorable days, isn't it?
The research team work furiously to catch up for lost time,
and at last, they have some luck.
We've got one sibling, a brother...erm...
still living in Whitehaven, so we're gonna give him a call.
Could they have found Joseph Hilliard's brother?
This is Frasers last chance to make a success of the day.
Hello. Is that Mr Hilliard?
Oh, sorry to trouble you. My name's David Milchard.
I'm calling from London.
I'm trying to trace a family by the name of Hilliard
in connection with an estate I'm dealing with.
Now, would your parents have been John Hilliard and Mary Stewart?
Yeah, OK, fine.
That's the news Grimble's been waiting for.
He is the right Joseph's brother.
All right. Do you know what happened to Joseph?
You haven't heard from him since when?
About four or five years. Oh.
The fact the brothers have lost touch
won't stop David Hilliard from becoming an heir.
But if Joseph had children, it will be them who get all the money.
And did he have any children, do you know?
Three or four. And do you know what happened to them?
I mean, are you in contact with them at all?
Right, so they're still in the Whitehaven area, are they?
This phone call is a massive breakthrough for Frasers.
They now know that Joseph had six children,
three of whom are still alive and living in Whitehaven.
It shows what a difference half an hour makes.
Half an hour we had what we thought was a niece.
That's proved to be totally rubbish, and now we believe we're on to the right family.
We're home and dry as far as it being the correct family.
But Grimble's troubles aren't over,
as an old problem rears its head again.
With just three heirs to sign up,
sending two travellers up north is unnecessary.
Unable to face ringing himself, Grimble gets a colleague
to do the dirty work.
Just been rung up by Francis...
You're gonna love this one.
I've been diverted back to London.
So I've just got three points on my licence for absolutely nothing.
I am not happy.
Ewart does U-turn on M1. LAUGHTER
And on the A68, Dave's battling the elements
in his epic journey to Whitehaven.
We've gone from freezing fog now to absolute torrential downpour.
And we're still nearly two hours away from where they want me to go,
having gone up a wild goose chase on the wrong side of the country.
Dave checks in to let off steam.
Ah, Dave, Dave, Dave... This is the way it works.
You know, we go into one place, we work on a family,
then it all proves to be wrong,
then we find he's on the other side of the country.
You know, the point is, we're on the track now
to see some children of the deceased, so when you get there...
Yeah, I know. Don't split hairs, Dave. You know,
Whitehaven ain't that far away, is it?
Eh? Yeah, OK. Yeah.
Dave and Grimble aren't the only ones feeling the pressure.
Ewart is still on the road.
Today, he left the house at 7.30am,
has driven from London to Sunderland,
was diverted at Leicester back home, was then sent to Whitehaven,
and then, just before he arrived, was asked to return back to base.
It's now 4.30, and to Ewart's dismay,
the office need him to run another errand.
Yeah, tell them that I'm now... I'm now at...
-'Do you know where you are, Ewart?'
My mind has just gone blank cos I'm so knackered.
I've just done about 350 miles going nowhere.
Ewart has been asked to collect a certificate for an old case.
He's praying he'll then be allowed to head home.
This son, if it is correct, he lives in south Humberside.
I really don't want to go to south Humberside.
I've just driven 350 miles.
As Ewart waits for a call back with his next instructions,
his fate rests in the hands of the gods.
Well, in the hands of Neil Fraser.
I hope I don't have to drive another 200 miles or something.
I would cry.
But at last, the gods are smiling on Ewart.
(Yes.) I'm heading home.
# I'm heading home, I'm heading home... #
Ewart's day may finally have ended,
but Dave's still got important work to do.
He's just reached his destination,
a pub where Joseph's daughter Yvonne lives.
But Neil knows it's going to be a difficult meeting.
We don't think they know about the deceased dying, but...
it's one of these things which is very, very close.
We don't really like dealing with children
because there's more emotion and more heart in it.
Breaking the news isn't as difficult as Dave had feared,
but it's still an emotional meeting.
He died in a home of some description, a care home or a nursing home.
-I don't know what exactly yet, but we will find out and let you know.
We thought he was dead about two years ago.
We all understood him to be dead,
so to turn around and say he only died last year makes you feel...
you know, maybe you could have gone to see him or...
He moved away when we were all small,
and you just never think about it, you know,
you never ever think, do you?
He never did turn back up, so...
..it's just sad.
-But we will find out and let you know.
Dave's got some more news for Yvonne.
But it means because he died without leaving a will,
and his wife had pre-deceased him,
that all his children would share whatever estate there was.
Now, at this moment in time,
-we're not really sure how much there is.
We think there's somewhere in the region of about £40,000.
-His house is valued at more than that.
Because he's been in care,
-he would have had to pay towards the upkeep of his care.
-So we don't know how much has gone on that.
-So I know that some of your brothers and sisters have died?
-Yes. Three dead.
-So their children will share their part.
It's a lot for Yvonne to take in,
and now, there's the paperwork to go through.
Dave asks Yvonne to sign a contract with Frasers.
This allows the heir hunters to help Yvonne put in a claim
for her share of the estate, which will amount to around £10,000.
-OK, thanks very much.
-Pleasure to meet you.
-Thanks for your hospitality.
-See you again.
Yvonne's brother and sister also live in Whitehaven,
and Dave heads over to meet them.
One last difficult meeting before his long day is over.
Hiya. I'm looking for Paul and Angela Hilliard.
Yeah, that's us.
-Is that you?
-Is she in, your sister?
-Can I come in to see you?
Also at the house is their mother, Margaret,
Joseph Hilliard's first wife.
This part of the family is close.
In fact, Angela is a full-time carer for her mother and brother.
But they'd all lost touch with Joseph and had no idea
that he had died just a few months ago.
I haven't seen him since I was 15 year old.
The last time...
So, it's more of a shock than anything else.
It's nice that they've got closure, really, isn't it?
-Yeah, it is. It is. Very much so.
-Knowing he's dead. Mmm.
Dave goes through the inheritance paperwork with them.
-It's a pleasure.
-Not to bring bad news, but to sort it out for you.
'You're treading on eggshells in many respects.
'You've got to get round to telling them,
'cos that's the reason you're there.'
It's not like I haven't done it before.
It's a horrible thing to have to do, er...but it has to be done.
Now there's one last job, letting Grimble know how he's got on.
-Hello, mate. How are you going?
-All right. Seen Angela.
-Both signed up.
Oh, well done. Well done.
-Now, mum thought that he'd died a couple of years ago.
So it was a shock for them to find out
-that he'd only died in September.
And they've never had a penny off him in all their lives, the kids,
so this is like a bonus, really.
OK, then. All right then, my old son, well done.
Eight hours into the search, the team have found and signed up
all the heirs to Joseph Hilliard's £60,000 estate...
Another successful day.
..beating the competition.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
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