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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 for a windfall.
Could they be knocking at your door?
On today's programme, emotions run high for one lucky lady.
I just sort of started shaking.
It was totally out of the blue.
And a knock on the door from Heir Hunters brings more than just money to this pensioner.
It's great news to me to know that there is somebody still around
that I can say is a relative.
Plus a list of unclaimed estates worth nearly £700,000.
Maybe you could help crack a case and find some missing heirs.
Every year, over 300,000 people die without leaving a will.
When 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 one of the oldest firms of heir hunters in Britain.
So, Milly or Ruby?
In its 30-year history, the company has grabbed back
over £100million from the government
and given it back to over 50,000 heirs.
It's 7.00am Thursday in Fraser & Fraser's London office.
It's a crucial time for the heir hunters
as the government has just released the weekly list
of those who've died with no known heirs.
Where's my toast?
Leading the troops today is case manager David Pacifico
who, after 37 years in the job,
has still not got used to the seven o'clock start.
David has looked down the list and selected a case to investigate.
This is a possibility.
Surname Bevan, looks like he's born in Wales.
The government doesn't disclose the value of any of the cases,
but David is hoping the Bevan estate
will be worth the most amount of money on the list
as Frasers works on commission and gets a cut from heirs who sign up.
Might be all right, but we're still not certain.
He's guessing the value is high because Bryan Bevan died in Bedford
which is a wealthy area with many expensive properties, and Bryan Bevan might even have owned one.
Still a question mark, but it's a good area and so it's worth, I think, looking at it.
It's not much to go on, but that's normal for the heir hunters.
During the course of the day,
they have to collect as much information as possible
about Bryan Bevan so they can build a family tree,
working out generation by generation who he is related to
and who's in line to inherit.
There's only so much they can find out from the comfort of the office,
so as well as its research team,
Fraser & Fraser also employ a squadron of travelling heir hunters.
They spend their Thursdays at the wheel of their cars,
ready to go wherever the search takes them.
-Do you know where James Donovan Court is?
Oh. Thank you. Cheers.
Their job is to follow up new leads and sniff out fresh clues.
It's highly competitive
as they need to get to any heirs and make a deal before their rivals.
If I don't knock on the door first
then a competitor will.
The travelling heir hunter put onto the Bevan case
is Birmingham-based Paul Matthews.
If it's hard for us, it's hard for other companies as well.
Today his first instruction has been to drive towards south Wales,
the birthplace of Bryan Bevan.
He was actually born in Pontypridd,
which obviously, any family members, they'll stem from there
so hopefully get up to date early doors.
It's a bit of a steal on the competition if we're there doing it.
Paul's job on arrival will be to collect
Bryan Bevan's birth certificate from the local register office
which will give the heir hunters the concrete information they crucially need.
We've got to get the right birth of the deceased.
That's always the starting point because obviously,
you've got to have the right family
before you go down the tree and trace all the relatives.
But of course, without knowing the value of Bryan Bevan's estate,
it could be a lot of effort for very little reward.
It's still very much hit and miss so I could be coming down here
on what's a fool's errand because it's not worth the petrol money to come down.
But by the same standard, it could be a very big estate.
All that is known about Bryan Bevan
is that his funeral was arranged by the state
and the service was led by local vicar, Cyril Harris.
I was asked to arrange the funeral because, to my surprise,
there were no relatives and that exercised my mind considerably
simply because here was a man who, quite clearly, had made a great contribution to life.
We tried to find out who had worked with him, but to no avail.
It saddened me to think that such a person
should end up with no relatives,
no-one really to say we loved you and to move on.
It's up to Frasers' research director Gareth Langford
to tease out more information about Bryan Bevan's family.
The most useful thing would be the names of his parents,
but with dozens of people listed under the surname Bevan,
they aren't going to be easy to find.
Gareth trawls through Frasers' huge database of marriage records hoping for a clue.
Suddenly, he comes across two names that stand out.
Could these be Bryan Bevan's parents and the team's first breakthrough of the day?
At the moment, we're speculatively looking at parents of Bryan Bevan
who are possibly Gomer and Jessie Williams,
but it is complete guesswork.
Bevan appears to be a Pontypridd name,
so we've no idea really who the parents are.
It's just an educated guess that we quite like this one.
The team won't know for sure
whether these people are Bryan Bevan's parents
until Paul Matthews gets the birth certificate from Pontypridd.
But if the names are right,
it could give them a head start in front of their rivals.
If we don't work this and it is right
and somebody else has worked it and beat us to it then, um,
you know, that's not good.
So we're working it, basically, in case somebody else works it.
Gareth's speculative family tree now shows Bryan Bevan
as the son of a Gomer Bevan and a Jessie Williams.
It's now nearly 10am and case manager David is getting edgy.
He wants to know if Gareth's guesswork is correct
by getting proof from Paul.
But how soon will the travelling heir hunter get the evidence?
-Hello, Paul. Hi, it's David.
-Just want to check whereabouts you are.
Well, I'm about 30 miles from Pontypridd.
Paul's pulled over because he's hit a problem.
-Found the register office on the way here.
-Oh, you have, yeah?
The lady's checked. They're saying that birth is not there.
Apparently Caerphilly, which is a bit further on,
um, they've got a birth of a Bryan Bevan and they're going to check,
see if it's the one we want.
Until Paul gets the certificate,
all the office can do is make guesses about Bryan Bevan.
But then Gareth has an idea.
Gomer Bevan is a very unusual name.
In fact, there is only one listing of it in the Frasers' birth records.
This means Gareth has something solid to research.
By cross-referencing names and birth records,
he quickly works out that Gomer had three siblings,
Elizabeth, Philip and Olwyn.
Philip had a son, David, who died in 2004,
but David's wife Elani Bevan is still alive.
Right, we've got the widow of, er...
And there's her phone number.
OK, so this, possibly, is a cousin by marriage of the deceased.
But obviously based on the fact,
do we have the right parents of the deceased?
If the team can get hold of Elani Bevan,
she might be able to tell them
whether Gomer really was the father of Bryan Bevan.
Hello, Mrs Bevan?
We're trying to trace a particular family by the name of Bevan,
from the Pontypridd area.
I'm not sure whether or not we've got the right family,
but were you married to a David Bevan?
The heir hunters are in luck. But can Elani Bevan tell them anything about her husband's Uncle Gomer?
Do you know anything about Gomer,
in as much as any family he may have had?
Right. Do you know anything at all about this son -
name, or what happened to the son or anything like that? Right.
Did he stay in Wales, or...?
Getting hold of Elani Bevan is a great result for the heir hunters.
The phone call reveals that Gomer Bevan did have a son,
an only child, and that he moved away from Wales.
The heir hunters now feel pretty sure
that they are onto the right family.
Now David's hoping Mrs Bevan might be able to lead them to some heirs.
Only blood relatives are entitled,
so she won't be in line for any money herself.
Any surviving blood relations of the Bevan family
we believe could have an interest or an entitlement to a share in this estate.
Right, I was going to ask you if your husband had any children.
His name is Hugh?
The team have struck gold.
Elani Bevan's son Hugh is a blood relative of Bryan Bevan,
giving Fraser & Fraser their very first heir.
Whereabouts is he, actually?
Having a name is one thing, but getting in touch is another.
He's in Singapore?
It's a bit too far to send travelling heir hunter Paul,
so in this instance, Hugh will have to be signed up by return post.
Elani Bevan also thinks there might be another surviving blood relative.
A cousin, Joyce.
What was Joyce's married name, then, do you remember?
If the team can find Joyce,
she'll be the second heir to Bryan Bevan's estate.
Many, many thanks, Mrs Bevan.
Thank you. Bye-bye.
It's great news.
Providing the parents names on Bryan Bevan's birth certificate do match,
the team have just found two heirs,
a cousin and a cousin once removed.
-I reckon it's right.
Coming up, Paul finally gets to the register office,
but will the information on Bryan Bevan's birth certificate prove the heir hunters correct?
Check the details.
And will their hard work be for nothing
when they find out the real value of Bryan Bevan's estate?
It's probably worth ten pence, this job, anyway, Dave.
Heir hunting is a profession which takes expertise to do well,
but sometimes, amateur sleuths can help crack a case.
Do you have any information that could help find heirs for these unclaimed estates?
Mieczyslaw Meczyk died in Hammersmith, London,
in February 2007 aged 73.
He left an estate worth a massive half a million pounds.
Are you his relative and in line for a fortune?
Anthony Sleet died in Southampton in December 2006.
He was 82 and left an estate worth £28,000.
Are you part of Anthony's family?
Do you know someone who is?
Leila Connell died in Brighton in May 2005, aged 98.
Leila left an estate worth £20,000.
Are you a member of her family?
Could you be an heir?
If you think you might be entitled to any of these unclaimed estates,
take a look at our website -
In central London, Fraser & Fraser are continuing
their investigation into the unclaimed estate of Bryan Bevan.
We're speculatively looking at parents of Bryan Bevan
who are possibly Gomer and Jessie Williams.
The team may well have just found their first two heirs,
but they need proof from Paul Matthews before they can be sure.
Hi, Paul. Just wondering how close you are to Caerphilly.
I've just arrived. Just putting the form in.
Right because, um, if the parents' names that we've got is right,
it's up to date, with two people on that side of the family.
-So I'll hang fire until you come back to me.
-OK, then. Cheers, Dave.
Paul puts in a request for Bryan Bevan's birth certificate, and now it's a waiting game.
OK, thanks a lot.
Will the certificate give the heir hunters the names they so desperately want...
Check the details.
..and prove that Bryan Bevan's parents really are
Gomer Bevan and Jessie Williams?
Well, I've got the birth of the deceased now.
It confirms that it's exactly the same date
and confirms the mum's maiden name was Williams.
So, looks good to me.
-Hello, Dave. Paul.
-Got that birth for you.
-Good. Tell me the good news.
Dad is Gomer Bevan.
-Mum is Jessie Bevan, formerly Williams.
-And that's it.
-Is it looking good?
It's great news for the heir hunters.
They now know for sure
that they've got two heirs from Bryan Bevan's father's side.
But it's not over yet.
The team now need to research Bryan Bevan's mother's family.
David asks Paul to try to find Jessie Williams' birth certificate.
Because without that,
we obviously can't identify the Williams side.
The maternal side of Bryan Bevan's family
is going to be much harder to track down
as Williams is the third most common surname in the country.
The Williams name is very, very bad,
but we know the quarter and we know the area where the birth came out
so hopefully, we can, with the help of the registry office staff, just narrow it down.
With Paul left looking for Williams needles in Welsh haystacks,
David gets back to the Bevan side and finds a phone number
for the person he hopes is Bryan's cousin Joyce.
Hello, Mrs Holderness?
Would I be right in saying that you would have been Joyce Parsons?
And you also had an Uncle Gomer?
Right. Do you remember his son at all?
Joyce's answers persuade David that she is person he's been looking for.
Unfortunately, he's now passed away.
He was an only child and we don't think he was married
and we've been trying to track down his next of kin
which would be, of course, yourself,
also David's son Hugh, because he's a blood relation.
As Bryan's cousin, Joyce is entitled to some of his unclaimed estate,
but unfortunately for the heir hunters,
Joyce isn't keen to sign up with Frasers
or take the inheritance process any further.
She does, however, tell them some more information about Bryan Bevan.
That he was a bachelor and that he had been ordained.
In fact, he taught theology at a local university.
She mentioned he wasn't married, he was gay.
She thought he may have been living with somebody,
but he travelled an awful lot and wasn't approved by his family
because he was gay and this is the old story, you know?
This call helps the heir hunters understand
why Bryan Bevan might have lost touch with his family.
At the register office, Paul has just got his hands
on the birth certificate of Jessie Williams, mother of Bryan.
Hello, Dave. Paul.
-Right, she's plain Jessie.
Dad's John Williams.
And the mother?
Amelia Williams, formerly James.
-This could be right.
-Oh, that's good, then.
David is pleased with the progress so far,
but because they still don't know the value of Bryan Bevan's estate,
the heir hunters are unsure if this case is going to be worth the hard work.
We're still trying to glean how big the estate is.
We think there is money there, although I'm not sure how much,
which still concerns me, because you know it might still be small.
He decides to call up travelling heir hunter Ewart Lindsay,
who covers the south east region.
Ewart is asked to head to Bedford
to find out more about Bryan Bevan's pad.
-So do we know if he actually owned the property or not?
-We're not sure.
-That's why we'd like more of an enquiry done.
-Yeah, OK. Fine.
He died 27th of February, 2007.
Now, the cousin I've spoken to mentioned that the deceased was gay
and she thought he may have been living with somebody. I think he was a reverend as well.
We want to know a little bit more
about if he owned the property, anything else,
and if his partner's still there, any information you can convene.
-OK, Dave, thank you very much.
-OK. Catch up with you later.
And there's no rest for Gareth.
He now cross-references the home address from Jessie Williams' birth certificate
with a population survey taken a year before her birth.
This is the 1901 census of the Williams family,
so we've got the grandfather and grandmother
of the deceased here - John and Amelia Williams.
Also in the census we've got a David, an Arthur, a Stanley,
a George and a Tudor.
I've also got here the 1891 census and we've got a Sarah Maria as well.
The team now know that Bryan Bevan's mother Jessie had six siblings.
But knowing their names doesn't mean they will be easy to find.
Williams is quite a common name, but in Wales it's a very common name
so we've got Christian names of...David,
so we're looking for a David Williams born in Pontypridd
and that's going to be around 1886.
There's going to be four or five David Williams
born in Pontypridd around that time.
Luckily, the heir hunters have yet more resources to help them out.
Five minutes from their offices is the probate registry,
which stores every will in the UK submitted since 1858.
If any of the Williams clan left a will,
this could provide some vital information.
From our point of view it's often very useful
because it mentions family, and it can be very useful
if it mentions people's married names
or their grandchildren or even their great grandchildren.
So it's a very useful thing for us.
But it will take some time for the team to get hold of any wills,
if they exist at all.
It's now 4pm and Ewart has just arrived at Bryan Bevan's former home.
Ewart's main concern is the find out if the Bevan estate is worth any money.
It doesn't look council-y.
Possibly looks like it's privately owned.
Er...but we'll see.
The average two bedroom flat in Bedford is priced at around £150,000,
but until Ewart speaks to someone,
he doesn't know whether Bryan Bevan actually owned his own place,
let alone its value.
Nobody seems to be answering.
To get any information, Ewart needs to find someone to speak to.
-He's down to the last buzzer when a resident shows up.
-Want to come in?
-Yeah, thank you.
It's a good result for Ewart, but will Bryan Bevan's neighbour give him any good news about the flat.
Do you know anything about him at all?
He's a bit of a man of mystery to some degree.
Apparently he was a reverend. Is that correct?
Yes, he was very much, um, a recluse in the sense
that he didn't, sort of, give a lot of information away.
-Right. Did he own the property?
-He owned the property.
And roughly how much, I mean if it sold off,
how much do you reckon it would go for?
Probably about 200.
The estimated £200,000 value of Bryan Bevan's estate
means this case has been well worth the chase.
Oh, such a turn up. What a great day. It ended very nicely.
Ewart tries to call the office with the good news,
but David is already on the phone.
Paul, um, nothing seems to be breaking.
-I think you might as well go home.
-OK then, Dave.
The team have now been working on the Bryan Bevan case for ten hours
and as no new clues have come through,
David decides they might as well wind down for the day.
If I need you tomorrow, then obviously I will call you, yeah?
-Just out of interest, how long does it take you
to get back to Birmingham or to wherever you are?
Hang on two seconds. The GPS is now talking to me.
It's saying, "Paul, go home." Hang on a second.
It's probably worth ten pence this job anyway, Dave.
Yeah, it's about two hours ten, within two-and-a-quarter hours.
Not too bad. So just in case I need you tomorrow,
-I'll give you a call, yeah?
Paul is happy to be heading home after his long day in Wales.
But then, Ewart manages to get through to David.
-Oh, hi, Dave.
-Yeah, I've just got some good information.
I've just been speaking to a gentleman called Ken Hill who...
He actually lives at the property.
Yeah. Did Mr Bevan, he didn't own a property then?
-Yeah, he did. Yeah.
-Oh, he owned it?
-Yeah, he owned it.
-He owned it?
-Yeah, he owned it. He'll probably get about 200,000.
200 grand. Can you just bear with me for a second?
It's worth it.
Do you want to speak to Paul
and say we may need him back in Pontypridd tomorrow, it's worth it.
Ewart's news now means the heir hunters can't afford to relax.
Slacking off could mean Bryan Bevan's considerable estate
snatched from under their noses by the competition.
David now wants Paul to stay where the heir hunting action is most likely to kick off - in Wales.
-Is this on the Williams side?
Yeah. We know it's a viable case now for certain.
Oh, right, so there's no real point travelling 120 miles to Birmingham
and then travelling 120 miles back, is there?
Well, I'm just wondering that.
OK. OK. Well, I'll be staying the night then.
Yeah, it's a night in Pontypridd or Caerphilly,
so I've got to turn around, go 20 miles the wrong way
and stop the night.
So, looks like steak's on the menu tonight.
Thank you and good night.
Coming up - will things get any better for Paul Matthews?
It's not happening, so it's not a good start to the day.
And will he ever get home to his family?
You'll have to phone my wife. She wants to go out.
-I'm not telling her.
Two years ago, Fraser & Fraser struggled with another large-value case.
This time, one with an even trickier name than Williams.
It was the case of a Leonora Smith who died in August 2005,
leaving an estate worth £230,000.
Smith is the most common surname in Britain,
with over five million listed in the electoral roll.
But with persistence and skill, the heir hunters at Fraser & Fraser
managed to track down two heirs to Leonora's fortune.
One of the heirs was Leonora's cousin, 89-year-old Maurice Chalk,
who lives near Oxford with his collection of over 30 birds.
Mr Chalk? Yeah, my name's Paul Matthews from Fraser & Fraser,
a probate research company based in London. We deal with the estate...
Maurice hadn't seen his cousin Leonora since childhood
and the surprise didn't stop there.
It was only several months after his claim was put in
that Maurice found out exactly how much money he'd get.
They first suggested it might be about £20,000
and, er, it kept on creeping up
and I said, when it got up to 50,000 and 60,000,
I just said, "Go on, keep going then, keep going."
And it ended up nearly a hundred, I think.
Before inheriting his £100,000,
Maurice, like most pensioners, kept a watchful eye on his spending.
I couldn't then afford to go out and say, "I want that."
Whereas now I can say, "I think I could manage it."
And with his windfall, he's allowed himself a special treat -
a state of the art camper van.
I've had now, I think, 12 or 13 of these vans
and each time, I think, "Well this is definitely the last one."
The first one I had was a Ford
which was £1,700 and now £33,000.
But the knock on the door by the heir hunters
brought Maurice something far more precious than money -
a new relative.
When Fraser & Fraser came, they were questioning me
and, er, eventually decided I was the right person
and they said, "We don't know exactly how many other possible people there are."
"There might only by one or two,"
and then they found out that, um,
there was only one. That was Beverley.
I got a phone call from Frasers out of the blue
and they asked whether I could name any other relatives
on my father's side.
Maurice is my father's cousin.
There were a number of cousins in the Haines family.
Only my father actually had any children,
so I was sort of the last of the Haines line.
We had never met.
I had never seen any of the family.
From '39 until two years ago is a long time,
and she thought everybody had passed on,
so it was only by chance that Fraser & Fraser, somehow -
I'm not quite sure how -
I was also...
a member of the family.
Family is especially important to Maurice as at 89,
he's lost his parents and his siblings and
tragically Maurice never married
because the Second World War came between him and his sweetheart.
We were very friendly for several months.
Used to go out, go to the pictures
and then I got posted up to Iceland.
And we wrote regularly,
with difficulty, because it all had to go through the censors.
I was there nearly two years and before the end,
we seemed to lose contact
and when I came back,
there was no, er...
They weren't there, the family had gone,
and I never found out any more.
Today Maurice is off to Southampton
to visit his newly-discovered second cousin Beverley
who he has only met once before.
He is taking along some family memorabilia.
These are photo albums which were found
in Leonora's bungalow.
It's a two-hour drive in his new camper van
and Maurice has renewed his driving licence especially.
So I'm now licensed until, I think, 93.
His journey takes him across the Swinford toll bridge in Oxfordshire.
It was two pence. It's gone up.
Old habits die hard, even though he's now not wanting for money.
Maurice has travelled 70 miles to see Beverley.
Now they've discovered each other, they want to make up for lost time.
Oh, here we are.
I found it.
Together, they look over old photographs,
trying to piece together some family history.
-Oh, is that you?
That's me. That's my mum.
That must be what you remember then.
I should know that, shouldn't I?
He does remind me of some of the other Haines family members that I've met in the past.
Just something in the way that he spoke that's quite similar.
Although Beverley and Maurice barely know each other,
they soon realise that their families were once very close.
That's my grandfather, Bert.
-That's Bert, is it?
-Well, that's my parents.
-I don't know where that one was taken then.
But today, it's still difficult to work out the family connections.
You're my dad's cousin so what relation am I to you? Is it second cousin?
Second cousin, yes.
-So Leonora would have been my second cousin as well.
Beverley shows Maurice a photo of Leonora's house.
Ironically, it's only a few miles from where Beverley now leaves.
We were so close.
It's just very sad, isn't it, that I never knew that she lived there,
-she was a relative.
Although they didn't visit her when she was alive,
the cousins decide to pay their respects to Leonora at the cemetery.
It's just on the corner. She was buried with her parents.
Leonora's name is on the back of the grave.
Have a look. Come round.
If Fraser & Fraser hadn't tracked down the heirs to Leonora Smith's £230,000 estate,
Maurice and Beverley would never have met.
It's really nice to have Maurice
because obviously, my parents are dead,
so my children haven't got grandparents
because my husband's parents are dead as well,
so it's quite nice for them, I think, to have an older relative
and they really think he's quite cool.
And he drives around in his big camper van.
They were very impressed.
It's great news to me
to know that there is somebody still around
that, er, I can say is a relative.
When heirs find out about long-lost relatives,
their lives can change in amazing ways.
And you too could help reunite families
and lead a relative to a fortune that's rightfully theirs.
67-year-old Valerie Hawkins died in Southend on Sea in February 2007,
Her money will go to the government
unless you know someone who is part of her family.
Are you related to Valerie Hawkins?
85-year-old Derek Hood died Gillingham, Kent, in February 2007,
Are you related to Derek? Should his money go to someone you know?
81-year-old John Laurence died in Cannock, Staffordshire,
in February 2007.
John left nearly £28,000. Are you a relative?
Should you inherit John's money?
If you have any information about any of these unclaimed estates,
then take a look at our website -
It's day two in the search for the heirs to Bryan Bevan's estate.
After an end-of-day visit by travelling heir hunter Ewart Lindsay
the heir hunters now believe the case is worth a potential £200,000.
It's worth it.
Having over-nighted in Wales after a long day,
Birmingham-based Paul Matthews is on red alert
to respond to any new leads.
The team haven't yet signed up any heirs to the Bevan estate
and until they do they won't be getting a cut of any of the money
and all their hard work will have been for nothing.
It's 8am in the office and the team are fast at work.
Gareth has just received a copy of Bryan Bevan's grandmother's will
and the hunt is racing along.
This is a brilliant will because it's very clear cut
and she's mentioned the majority of her family, certainly her children,
which is very useful from our point of view.
So she's been very kind to us here, which is brilliant.
The will gives the team seven more family members to research.
It's now up to Paul to collect certificates for any he can track down.
If he managed to find any death certificates, they'll be particularly useful.
That's because give the name of the person who has informed the authorities about the death.
Hopefully, the informant might be the child
and that would bring us up to a later date or fairly recent,
and it may well be the child is still alive.
If Paul's certificates deliver any living informants,
they could be Bryan Bevan's relatives and his heirs.
Paul's hoping his overnight stay in Wales will have been worthwhile,
giving him a head start in front of any rival heir hunters.
First port of call is Caerphilly registry office
and hopefully within an hour or so, we can be knocking on doors.
But there's a problem.
-They haven't got them?
-Where could they possibly be?
We're in the registry office,
hoping to pop in and get two deaths straight away.
Unfortunately, they're not here, so they should be at Pontypridd.
Pontypridd are saying they haven't got them.
The other registry offices might possibly cover them.
Bridgend, they haven't got them,
and the real outsider - Cardiff - we're just checking.
So whereas I hoped to pop in this morning, get the two deaths,
get a couple of good informants and go knocking on people's doors,
it's not happening, so it's not a good start to the day.
Paul phones all of the register offices in this part of Wales.
We've got to get somewhere sooner or later.
Don't quote me.
And two hours later, gets a call back from the Pontypridd office.
-I'll bet you can't guess what they found.
Paul speeds off to Pontypridd.
But will certificates be any help?
Hopefully, before too long, we'll be doing what we want to do -
going to see somebody before the opposition knocks on their door.
Hopefully, the delay is not going to cost us.
That death of Hughes, they've now, Pontypridd have now found it.
He's on his way to pick it up.
At the register office, Paul finally gets his hands on a certificate.
-Thanks a lot.
-Thank you for your patience.
-Have you got your pen poised anywhere?
-Yeah. Go on.
OK. This is the death of Sarah Maria Hughes and the informant...
-..is the son.
-Ronald Howard Hughes.
-Ronald Howard Hughes?
Cheltenham. That's nearer to Birmingham than here isn't it?
Things are looking up for Paul
because on the death certificate of Bryan Bevan's aunt, Sarah,
is a useful informant - her son, Ronald -
a cousin of Bryan Bevan.
He could be the team's next heir if they now manage to find him.
-You don't know if he's still alive?
-We'll check this out.
The office researchers leap into action
and soon find out that Ronald Hughes is actually no longer alive.
But all is not lost, because he also left a will
and in that will is the mention of someone
who could prove to be just who they are looking for.
On the probate of that Mr Hughes,
there was a daughter mentioned, Helen Salter,
last known to be living in Cheltenham area.
So now the maternal side of Bryan Bevan's tree includes a cousin,
Ronald Hughes, now deceased, and his daughter, Helen Salter.
If the team can find Helen Salter, she'll be an heir.
Unfortunately, we don't quite have a current address for her.
In fact, as I say this, I've now been handed a current address.
All they need to do now is let Paul know.
Hello. If it's not bad news, don't tell me.
No, no, it's good news.
I think we've got the client address in Cheltenham for that Salter woman.
-I'm sorry if you're going to be a bit late getting home tonight,
but that's her and that's that.
Yeah you'll have to phone my wife and tell her. She wants to go out.
-I'm not going to tell her.
Do I look stupid?
34 hours after starting the Bevan case,
Paul is on his way to his first heir.
Helen Salter has been called in advance, so she's expecting him,
but she has no idea how much the visit will change her life.
-Mrs Salter? Paul Matthews, Fraser & Fraser.
-Come in, darling.
-Nice to meet you.
-Do come in.
-Thank you very much.
-Down here, yeah? OK.
-Come in, yes.
Nice one. No doubt a bit mystified by all this then?
I am indeed, yes.
We don't know the size of the estate.
Um we think, but you can't quote us on this,
it's worth over £200,000, the estate.
That's not all coming your way, by the way.
-It depends how many people we find.
Any money will make a difference to 63-year-old divorcee Helen,
who works full-time as a care home warden.
I would love to have retired at 60, but I couldn't afford to.
I'm with the council. Now you can stay until you're 65, so...
-Oh, right. Well, you never know, you might get a few bob out of this.
-Oh, it would be wonderful.
Paul goes through the inheritance paperwork,
so Helen can put in the claim for her share of the £200,000.
-All the very best for the future.
-Thank you very much.
-Nice meeting you.
-I hope you get a nice sum of money. Bye-bye.
At first I didn't believe it
and then I just, sort of, started shaking.
It was totally out of the blue.
After two frustrating days of getting nowhere fast,
eventually, we got to see a first cousin once removed, Helen Salter.
Lovely, lovely lady.
We can't give any guarantees on the size of the estate,
but if it turns out what we think,
then she should get a good sum of money.
She's very excited about it, so it's good all round.
She's signed on the dotted line
so Frasers is going to get something out of it at the end of the day.
She's going to get hopefully a life-changing amount of money,
put it to some good use.
Hopefully she can do what she wants to do and retire.
And so yeah, so after a frustrating day,
at least now we've got an end result, so it's good news for me,
for the company and at this late hour of the night,
I can go back home to Birmingham, so good news all round.
Back in London, spirits are high.
Right. That's the end of another day.
See you tomorrow, Dave. I'll miss you.
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