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Every year, thousands of people die without leaving a will.
If no relatives come forward, then their estates will go to the government.
Keeping this money in the family is a job for the heir hunters.
On today's programme, the heir hunters have to crack one of their toughest cases yet...
Clutching at straws, basically.
..as they battle to find the heirs to a £200,000 estate.
We missed these births first go round. It's a really red-hot name.
It was a slow start but I think we're on it.
And a vicar stakes his claim to a very unusual inheritance.
There are still six empty spaces in this twelve-person brick-lined vault.
I thought I might get buried one day, as opposed to cremated, and, who knows, that could be a slot.
Plus, how you may be entitled to inherit some of the unclaimed estates held by the Treasury.
Could thousands of pounds be heading your way?
In the UK, two thirds of people don't have a will.
When they die, the law states that unless the authorities can find an obvious heir,
their money goes to the government.
Last year, the Treasury pocketed a staggering £18 million in unclaimed estates.
That's where the heir hunters step in.
Bob Barratt, Fraser & Fraser.
There are over 30 companies who make it their business to trace the rightful heirs to this money
and help them claim it back.
Fraser & Fraser is one of the oldest firms of heir hunters in Britain.
It's owned by Andrew, Charles and Neil Fraser.
They make their commission by solving cases and signing up heirs.
Over the last 10 years, they have enabled over 50,000 heirs to claim over £100 million.
It's 7.00am on Thursday at the company's central London office
and the Treasury has just published its weekly list of unclaimed estates.
Neil Fraser's first task is to identify those with an obviously high value,
which will earn his company a commission
and this morning one case leaps out at him.
Robin Hardy Palmer, who died, aged 58, in West London.
He died in Isleworth but very, very recently.
It looks like he owned the property, which will be anywhere between £100,000 and £200,000.
It's definitely worth us pursuing. We'll have a lot of people working on this today.
£200,000 is a very large estate and there's likely to be a lot of interest from rival companies
so the team are anxious to get started on this investigation.
Robin Palmer was born with learning difficulties
and by the time of his death he was living in supported independence in this property in south-west London.
One of the strange things on this case is the date of death.
It's very, very recent, which means it's very hard to get the information for us.
That means we are working on a speculative birth. It's a bit of a gamble. Fingers crossed, it pays off.
Because Robin has only recently passed away, his death certificate has not yet been registered,
so the team can't immediately get hold of an accurate date of birth for him,
which would give them a clear starting point for their investigation.
So Neil decides to send Bob Smith, a senior researcher on the road,
round to where Robin used to live to see what he can find out on the ground.
Bob's job, like all the company's travelling researchers,
is to pursue any lead, no matter where it takes them.
They make sure that when the heirs are eventually found,
they're the first company at their door
and the one the heir decides to sign up with.
But on the case of Robin Palmer, there's a long way to go before that.
As yet, the office haven't even got a death certificate for him,
so any information Bob can get will help get the ball rolling.
Hello, sir. Do you live here at all?
You don't? OK, thanks.
There's no-one around and Bob quickly realises that he's not going to have much joy.
-But at least he's been able to size up the deceased's old property.
-Quite a nice little flat actually.
It's in a lovely part of Twickenham so I would imagine that's got a bit of value.
It makes me think that certainly this would be an estate that is worth us pursuing.
Robin had lived all his life in the family home in Kew until his mother died in 1987.
The house was then sold and, because of his learning difficulties, Robin was taken into residential care.
However, in 1993, with some of the proceeds of the sale of his former home,
Robin then bought his own property in Twickenham.
Although he lived on his own,
he was helped in most aspects of his daily life by Richmond Social Services
as part of their policy of supported independence.
Hello, Community Support Services.
Sue and Julia looked after Robin for many years.
We were both very fond of Robin.
He was a huge part of both our lives, really.
He was such a lovely character, such a pleasant man to be with.
He is a huge part that is missing now.
I think Robin, having been an only child, he was very much a loner.
It did take a long time for Robin to come out of his shell.
He was an incredibly shy person.
Through having more regular contact with different people
and simply getting out and about more with his carers,
Robin gradually became more sociable,
which included becoming a regular at the local pub.
As he got to know us all and befriend us,
he would often sit down and have chats with us
and call us over to give him some help with the crossword
or perhaps turn the television show over to the show that he wanted to watch.
He became more than just a customer, he was a friend to us.
To see him on a Sunday, sitting down and having Sunday dinner with a couple of pints and chatting away -
it was a joy and I know he got so much from that
because he would say, "I must go to that pub on Sunday."
Robin's other great passion in life was the railway.
He had a huge interest in steam trains, trains of any kind, really, but steam trains particularly.
He went to the Bluebell Railway several times
and with Mencap holidays he would go to other steam railways.
He loved anything like that.
We used to bring him magazines with steam trains.
I still have trouble going past Tesco's magazine rack without picking up the railway magazine.
That's probably harder than anything. I still see them there because you can't...
Other people probably have to look for them but they just boom out at me.
So, um... Yeah.
Twickenham took him to their heart and everybody knew Robin.
If he was walking down the street, people stopped to chat with him. Everybody knew and loved him.
They miss him now throughout Twickenham.
You go down Barclays Bank - "Where's Mr Palmer?"
Yeah, he was a huge part of the local community.
Back in the office, in the absence of any certificates, Dave Milchard, aka Grimble,
has managed to piece together Robin's family tree using the census and online records.
I'm not sure that's the birth there.
He thinks Robin's parents were Reginald George Palmer and Constance Raymont.
Robin was an only child
so the team will need to look back to aunts, uncles and cousins to find his heirs.
The main thing we're going to need is the birth of Robin Hardy Palmer.
David's straight on phone to Bob.
He now desperately needs Robin's date of birth
and his parents' marriage certificates to back up his research.
Most vital would be the marriage in September, 1940, in Surrey North East.
Bob's got his work cut out for him tracking down those certificates so, first off, he tries a short cut.
'Hello, Sutton Registry Office, how can I help you?'
We're trying to obtain copies of two certificates that took place in the 1940s in Surrey North East.
Are you able to tell me which office we should go to?
'Not really, no, there are various offices.
'You're going to need more information. Surrey is...'
A nightmare, I know!
Bob's short cut has turned out to be a dead end.
So he heads off to the first of many Surrey register offices to begin his search for the vital certificates.
Once we've got those certificates,
it gives us something to work with and confirm we have the right family.
Meanwhile, in the office, Neil has been doing some detective work of his own,
researching the maternal side of Robin's family tree.
Looking at the mother of the deceased, her surname is Raymont, which is quite a good name.
However, all indications are that she was an only child,
which means there won't be any first cousins on the mother's side of the family.
We are relying, therefore, on the Palmer side,
the father's side of the family, which is quite a hard name to research.
We are relying on cousins on his side and if we can't find any then that's as far back as we can go
and it looks like the government will get it.
The law in England and Wales states that in the search for heirs,
you can only go back as far as the descendants of the deceased's grandparents,
so if Robin really didn't have any aunts or uncles,
then the heir hunt would end right there and his £200,000 estate would be absorbed by the Treasury.
The team are now focused on finding some heirs on his father Reginald's side.
Still fishing around for Reginald's birth.
I'm now looking at overseas births. Clutching at straws, basically.
We're having a bit of a problem identifying the father.
We tried a couple of possibilities but we've got nothing concrete at the moment.
It's just not moving, is it?
It's total stalemate.
The maternal side is a non-starter
and, without a date of birth for Robin's father, the team can't identify which Reginald Palmer he is
so any family trees they come up with will ultimately be based on guesswork.
And Bob still can't find that marriage certificate.
They can't find it here
but the trouble is, it could be at Sutton, it could be at Kingston, it could be at Morden.
All right, then. Cheers, mate. Bye.
Poor Bob is going to have to go to each register office one by one to try and locate the certificate.
Frasers have ordered a copy from the General Register Office as a back up
but that won't arrive until tomorrow.
The team are relying on Bob to track down the real thing today.
Right from the beginning, Neil assigned a lot of people to work on this case
because of its potential high value.
It's a slow start but I think we're on it now.
So the heir hunters are all feeling the pressure to deliver and earn the company some commission.
Researcher, Dominic, has come across something that he thinks might just be the breakthrough they need.
Gareth? Right, come and have a look at this.
This is the most speculative thing you'll ever see in your life but he's up to date on the phone.
-Do you want to talk to Grimble about it?
Out of all the potential fathers for Robin, Dominic has found one who he THINKS could be their man.
If so, he was married to another woman before Robin's mother.
There's a George Reginald Palmer marrying Molly E Moore.
It looks like it produces one issue, Eileen J Palmer, who would obviously be the half-blood sister.
Dominic is hoping that Eileen's son will prove to be Robin's nephew and their first heir.
At this stage, they'll give anything a go.
-Are you going to call it or...?
-I'll give it a call. It's totally wrong but...
We were tracing down through a family name of Palmer.
I believe that would have been your mother's maiden name. Was she Eileen?
Elaine? And your dad was Raymond Wright?
He wasn't. Oh, right. Looks like I've got that wrong!
Were you born in Basingstoke?
All right. I'm sorry to have troubled you.
As David thought, the information that Dominic had provided was indeed wrong.
Once again, it's back to the drawing board.
This case is proving to be a very hard nut to crack.
Wait, sorry. I'm reading this totally wrong.
Neil uncovers a mistake that could cost the heir hunters dear.
We've made quite a disastrous oversight.
But at last they get the breakthrough they've been waiting for.
I've got another one here as well.
It's a really red-hot name.
Inheritance doesn't just mean money.
Sometimes heirlooms, cars, pets and, of course, property make up an estate.
But occasionally something very out of the ordinary is passed down to future generations.
Heir hunters, Hoopers, are often contacted by solicitors looking for heirs.
Hold on, is that it there?
But in 2009, Mike Tringham received a very odd request from a very old friend.
This case came to my attention through a friend.
A slightly unusual situation but it did involve a question of inheritance.
This friend was hoping he was the heir to one particular family heirloom - a grave.
I've been asked some weird and wonderful questions and been posed some fascinating problems
but never been asked to actually discover who might be entitled
to be buried in a particular plot in a cemetery.
So, in that respect, it really got my interest right from the beginning.
The plot in question contained the remains of a renowned Victorian family, the Bantings,
and lay in West London's famous Kensal Green Cemetery, known as the Valhalla of England
because it provided the final resting place for the great and the good of Victorian England.
Dukes, generals and even princes were buried here in splendid marble tombs and mausoleums.
We discovered that there was plenty of interest in the surname, Banting.
One of the intriguing things we found was this twelve-person brick-lined vault there in Kensal Green.
The Reverend David Banting is a vicar of the Church of England and a keen amateur genealogist.
He was convinced that he was related to the Banting family,
who owned and were buried in this impressive vault.
There are still six empty spaces.
That's always been an intriguing question to me, who's going use it, who owns it?
I thought I might get buried one day, as opposed to cremated, and, who knows, that could be a slot.
But David was unclear how he could discover if he was entitled to a space in the vault,
so that's when he decided to call on his friend's genealogical experience.
Mike decided to treat this like a normal heir-hunting case.
I needed to discover who was entitled to what could be termed an asset,
even though it wasn't a monetary asset.
I thought I would tackle it in that way by using my genealogical skills
to establish a link between my client and the plot of land.
David had done a fair bit of research into his background
and had drawn up a family tree linking himself to the Bantings, who owned the grave site.
David is one of three brothers
whose great-great-grandfather was Thomas Banting.
Thomas's brother, William, had a son called William Westbrook Banting
and it was he who had built the vault.
In his research, David came across William Westbrook's grandfather, also called William.
There he uncovered a fascinating connection between the Bantings and their splendid final resting place.
We discovered that his job was as an undertaker but not just any old undertaker,
he was undertaker to the Crown.
Bantings had had the Royal Warrant to bury royal bodies as and when needed.
Between them, the Bantings were involved in
some of the most important and celebrated funerals of the day,
including George III
and the great war heroes, Admiral Lord Nelson and the Duke of Wellington.
Bantings were also involved in the first great public funeral of the 20th century.
Queen Victoria's funeral was a shambles.
All sorts of things went wrong.
Horse harnesses broke and people had to jump in and stop the coffin from skidding backwards and so on.
Poor planning had dogged this momentous occasion
because the Queen would not permit anyone to discuss her death while she was still alive.
But Bantings and the Royal Family learned their lesson
and, in 1910, Edward VII's funeral went off without a hitch
and became the benchmark for future royal state occasions,
although Bantings were initially barred from Buckingham Palace, by a grief-stricken Queen Alexandra.
She was unable to let the body go
so Banting and all his men and horses and carts were dismissed.
The ledger says, "Went, not needed, fifty guineas."
It happened three times, charging fifty guineas a go,
which, in 1910, is an enormous amount of money.
In the early years of the 20th century,
William Westbrook Banting brought the art of burial to its peak.
The hallmark of a Banting funeral was grandeur and finery
and what became known as the gorgeousness of grief.
Many of these burials were taking place at the new and fashionable Kensal Green Cemetery.
Kensal Green opened in 1833 but it didn't catch on with the public until many years later.
When Frederick the Duke of Sussex died,
one of the children of King George III,
then it became very popular.
There was almost snobbery in death, everybody wanted to be near the royal tomb, in Kensal Green Cemetery.
After that it became the home of the great and the good,
particularly up to the last 50 years or so and we still do many prestigious funerals to this day.
For Lee, the Banting family tomb is a fascinating reminder of how things used to be done.
Because of the current scarcity of land, something like the Banting vault is quite unusual nowadays.
It would be very rare to have it now.
First of all because of the cost implication in buying a plot of land of that size,
it would be extremely expensive.
In all, six members of the Banting family were buried in this vault.
The last one, over 70 years ago, was Cecil Banting, William's brother
and since then it has lain undisturbed, so Lee was surprised when David came to see him.
Here we are.
These are the grave details here. The grave is a large, brick-lined grave...
'It was a little bit unusual in that nobody's been buried in the grave since the 1930s.'
Usually interest would have waned by now and people are into new graves
where there would just be a husband and wife put there.
However, if there's remaining space in a family grave, and you still have the right of burial in the grave,
there's no reason why that can't happen.
William Westbrook Banting had made his fortune from burying the dead,
so he wasn't going to skimp when it came to his own arrangements.
In 1901, he bought a large plot in the most prestigious part of the cemetery.
Everybody who was anybody was buried in Central Avenue, right outside the magnificent Anglican chapel,
which has the royal graves opposite.
-They're certainly impressive.
Like all the graves in Kensal Green cemetery,
the Banting plot was assigned a 999-year lease.
William Westbrook spent what would then have been the princely sum of £24,
constructing the tomb out of the highest quality materials
as this was the best way he knew to secure his family's position in society, in perpetuity.
You were telling me the quality of this... What can you tell professionally?
This is a granite monument, which is why it's lasted as long as it has
and yet it's still in fine condition.
If we wanted to use this again, any member of the Banting family...
You could do that. The first thing you'd have to sort out would be the issue of ownership.
David's connection with the Banting family was only distant,
so were his dreams of eternal rest in Kensal Green dead and buried
or could Mike Tringham's research hand him the keys to the family vault?
There are descendants of William Westbrook Banting who could be contacted,
quite possibly living abroad,
and I think it would be rather nice if it could be put to good use, still within the family.
Still to come...
The heir hunters' research finally begins to pay off.
What can I tell you, then?
And the race to find the heirs to Robin Palmer's £200,000 estate is on.
-We now have a first cousin alive in Tiverton.
For every case that is solved, there are still thousands that remain a mystery.
Currently over 3,000 names drawn from across the country are on the Treasury's unsolved case list.
With estates valued at anything from 5,000 to millions of pounds,
the rightful heirs are out there somewhere.
Today, we've got two cases heir hunters have so far failed to solve.
Could you be the missing link?
Could you be in line for a payout?
Wincenty Luksza died in Newton Abbott, Devon, on the 27th March, 2002.
Was he a friend or colleague of yours?
Could you even be related to him and entitled to his estate?
Joan Malkin nee Pelais passed away on the 30th November, 2007 in Waterlooville, Hampshire.
If no relatives come forward, her money will go to the government.
If the names Wincenty Luksza or Joan Malkin mean anything to you or someone you know,
you could have a fortune coming your way.
Unusually for heir hunter, Mike Tringham,
on the Banting case he's not dealing with a financial settlement at all.
Could I get you to look something up for me?
He's tracing the heirs to a family tomb and after checking back through public records, wills and probate,
he's finally settled the question of whether or not David had inherited a right to be buried in the vault.
Hold on, is that it there?
There is an obvious link between David Banting's family and the family of William Westbrook Banting,
but one has to go back quite a number of generations.
They are related, but to such a remote degree, that he wouldn't have any claim as the next of kin.
This was a blow.
Mike had just confirmed that David was not directly entitled to be buried in the vault
but he didn't intend to stop there.
His next step was to find out who, if anyone, had inherited the rights to the grave,
seeing as its builder, William Westbrook, had died a bachelor in 1932.
I discovered that William Westbrook Banting was one of five brothers
and two of his brothers survived him.
They were the important elements of this inquiry.
The two brothers who survived William Westbrook
were Edgar and Cecil Banting.
They were both named as his heirs in his will, so anything they received,
including the rights to the grave, would have passed to their children.
Edgar's two children, Lawrence and Gladys, both died unmarried
but Cecil Banting's line proved to be more interesting.
There are descendants of William Westbrook Banting who could be contacted,
quite possibly living abroad.
So the likelihood of them desiring the use of that plot here
I think it would be rather nice if it could be put to good use, still within the family.
Mike decided that his next step should be to meet up with his friend, David.
-Fancy seeing you!
-Very good to see you, come on in.
He wanted to present him with his findings, so that between the two of them
they could compare notes and work out a plan of action.
We've established that
you are related to William Westbrook Banting and his family
but not really so directly that would give you direct rights
to the vault in Kensal Green.
Professionally you're saying this is quite a distant connection.
And, in legal terms, it is quite distant
but here are we thinking, "Goodness me, this is family!"
Yes. If we were talking in legal terms about inheritance,
-third cousins, or even second cousins wouldn't feature at all.
Not in English law.
Mike then revealed that even though David didn't have a direct claim to the family vault,
he had discovered someone who did.
William Westbrook's heir was one Christopher Banting,
grandson of his brother, Cecil Banting.
But you flutter that maybe we've got a proper name, Christopher, not just William.
Yes, Christopher William Villiers.
Mike had managed to trace Christopher to South Africa but there the trail ran cold.
I couldn't find him in South Africa.
I know there was a lot of immigration from South Africa to Australia.
I had a look in Australia and, in fact, Christopher William Villiers Banting,
who would be a great nephew to William Westbrook Banting,
is alive and well and living in Western Australia.
That is big news.
Mike's established that the rights to be buried in the Kensal Green vault
have passed to Christopher Banting.
Now David needs to get in touch with his long-lost cousin
and find out if those rights could be transferred to him.
There is now a possible plan of campaign.
I could send these Christmas cards to say, "Do you realise you have the best right to this?
"What's your response to that? Are you interested in it?"
I'm sure as a distant member of the Banting family
and being instrumental in bringing to everyone's attention this vault,
I think you have a strong case.
Even though David is not legally entitled to be buried in the grave,
thanks to Mike's research he can now pursue his wish to be interred alongside his ancestors
in the magnificent Banting family vault - cost permitting, of course.
When I went to look at it, it would just cost an arm and a leg to open it up and use it again,
-because it's so big and so fine.
I mean, the lump of granite on top of it is, we reckon, three tonnes, five tonnes?
I don't know, to lift it off...?
You'd have to be fairly determined to make use of it again.
That's a wonderful phrase to use!
The case of the Banting vault has been a truly unusual one for Mike.
But what next for David?
Not only has he been given the chance to resurrect an old family tradition,
he's also got a long-lost relative in Australia to contact.
The next step for me is to be in touch with him and if he's not interested,
who knows, one day I might be buried in Kensal Green Cemetery in a vault.
I'd better start saving.
Pity that vicars are not paid overtime, isn't it?
Fraser & Fraser have been investigating the case of Robin Palmer,
who died aged 59 in Twickenham in London,
leaving an estate that could be worth up to £200,000.
Because of the size of the inheritance, the team have high hopes for this case.
There's always a little edge to a case that you're working on
when you know there's probably going to be a value.
But the search hasn't got off to a good start.
They couldn't find any relations on his mother's side
and trying to pinpoint Robin's father was like looking for a needle in a haystack.
Palmer's such a bad name.
We're just getting lots of marriages all over the place.
Neil's double-checking the birth record he had found for Robin's mother in Devon,
when he suddenly gets a nasty shock.
Wait a minute. No, I'm sorry, I'm reading this totally wrong.
Ignore what I've said.
Neil had thought that Robin's mother was an only child,
so he'd told the team to stop searching for heirs on her side of the family.
So we've got Raymont, Raymond...
But it turns out she was actually one of five.
The other four had been registered as Raymond rather than Raymont.
They'd been missed because the team had forgotten to do a routine check
for alternative spellings of unusual surnames.
I've got another one here, as well.
We missed these births first go round.
That's a really red-hot name.
Robin's grandparents were Richard Raymont and Frances Maud Kentills,
who married in Devon in 1907 and had six children,
including his mother, Constance.
All these children and their children
are heirs to Robin's £200,000 estate.
Dave gets on the phone to speak to the heirs and make some appointments.
And you've a brother, Robert?
Rodney, sorry, yeah?
All the family seem to have stayed in Devon so they need to get someone down there as quickly as possible.
Neil calls senior researcher, Paul Matthews, who is already on the road.
-Although I said there weren't any issue on that mother's side,
there are births, aunts and an uncle of the deceased.
-And we have now got a first cousin alive in Tiverton.
Really, I wanted to find out how far away he is from Tiverton.
He's 45 minutes away. That's quite good on those.
And just overhearing on Dave as well, it doesn't sound like anyone else has contacted this beneficiary,
which is a bit of luck, really.
We've made quite a disastrous oversight on that
but it appears it hasn't hurt us too much.
It's still only 10 o'clock and with Paul on his way down to Devon,
this case could still have a positive outcome for the team after all.
The first heir that they've traced is Stephen Raymont, Robin's first cousin,
who, along with his two sisters,
stands to inherit a share of Robin's £200,000 fortune.
Pleased to meet you. Paul Matthews from Fraser & Fraser. How are you getting on?
First of all, Paul has to establish that Stephen is actually Robin's heir.
-It's like a big jigsaw.
I just find out what, you know, proves you're the right person.
-Number of children in your parents' marriage, how many are there?
-Three of you. Was your dad married more than once?
Paul's satisfied he's got the right person.
And Stephen's happy to sign up with him and delighted to hear he's coming into some money.
So, good news all round.
Thank you very much for your time. Nice meeting you.
-I hope you get a nice sum of money and all the best for the future.
Paul can't afford to hang about.
It turns out that the team have found 17 of Robin Palmer's maternal cousins and heirs
living in the Devon area.
I'm now off to see another cousin of the deceased and his brother,
and when I've seen them, apparently I've got another three cousins to see together,
so it's even more chaotic than normal.
With a bit of luck and a lot of legwork,
the team have managed to transform this case from a lost cause into an heir fest.
Doris, yeah? And Amelia I...
There's so many of them that Paul's swamped,
so Dave gets on the phone to another senior researcher, Ewart Lindsay.
I was going to get Paul to see this one tonight but he's already seen two groups of people.
All right, Dave, good stuff.
-Ewart sets out for Devon.
-I'm going to Newton Abbot, nice place, been there many, many times.
It'll be several hours before he gets there,
but if he's going to make it for a 7.00pm appointment, there's no time to lose.
Meanwhile, Bob Smith is still looking for that elusive marriage certificate for Robin's parents
that the team hope will unlock the paternal side of this case.
I'd like a copy of a marriage certificate, if I may.
But he's not having much luck.
Quite often you can pick up stuff on the day but if you can't find it, fine.
Again, we've had no luck.
I'll let the office know and we'll have to apply for it in the normal way
and wait till tomorrow.
The team are now relying on the General Register Office to send the marriage certificate tomorrow.
But they continue to work up leads in the meantime.
Gareth's come up with another potential father for Robin.
This Reginald George Palmer was also born in Devon and was part of a large family.
I'm quite confident now it is right.
So we're working all these Palmers.
He's got seven brothers and sisters if it's the right family, hopefully it is.
The signs are looking good but David is still feeling cautious.
-So these go together.
If it is right, well, we've got all the work done.
If it turns out to be wrong, then we're back at the drawing board and we'll have to look elsewhere.
So until we get the certificates back, there's no way we can say we're right or wrong.
At least the maternal side of this case is progressing well.
Ewart's arrived in Newton Abbot, just in time to see another of Robin's cousins.
Veronica Elliott, known in the family as Sally,
is one of two surviving daughters of Robin's aunt Zena,
both of whom stand to inherit a share of their cousin Robin's £200,000 estate.
Hello, Mrs Elliot, how are you?
-I'm fine, thank you.
-Nice to meet you.
-Thank you very much.
What can I tell you then?
Sally is eager to give Ewart as much information as he wants about her family and childhood,
growing up in rural Devon surrounded by her cousins.
Keith would be 60, 59?
But there is one cousin that she fell out of touch with a long time ago.
The last time I saw Robin
would be maybe almost a year after his mum died.
He's always been an unusual child but a loving boy.
Very loving boy. Big chap.
It turns out Sally hasn't seen Robin since his mother died.
He was a very, very rich man the last time I saw him.
Very rich man.
-You say rich man?
-Well, the house was sold and he had all the money and...
-His parents' house?
-Yeah, they both had died. And, yeah, I mean, hundreds of thousands.
If you sign there.
After she's heard Ewart's presentation,
Sally decides she's happy to let Frasers represent her and signs up.
Thank you very much.
In total, the team have managed to represent six of Robin's cousins
from the maternal side of his family.
But what will the new day bring for the paternal side of the investigation?
First thing in the morning and Neil is standing by the fax machine,
ready to receive the marriage certificate from the General Register Office.
The problem when we work without certificates is it's a real gamble.
Although the mother was from Devon,
it was always a little bit of a gamble that the father was from Devon.
Sadly, it turns out that their speculative family tree for Robin's father was wrong.
Unlike his mother's family, Robin's father wasn't from Devon.
His marriage and birth certificates show that he was actually born in Willesden in London.
But there is some small consolation for Gareth.
Look at this lovely tree. There's only going to be two people on it, maybe three.
The one we did yesterday had hundreds of people.
Robin's father, Reginald Palmer had three brothers and sisters.
His sister, Winifred, married Duncan McPherson Skene and they had one son, Duncan.
I've got a phone number!
What's the time in Australia?
Victoria's about ten hours plus.
Suddenly, the search moves even further away from Devon.
It turns out that Duncan had emigrated to Australia.
But that isn't going to stop the heir hunters.
They managed to track him down to Victoria where he had married in 1969.
Sadly, Duncan died in 2004,
but the team have discovered that he has three living children.
They are first cousins, once removed, to the deceased.
So they're beneficiaries.
We now represent them and I'm quite pleased, really, with the outcome,
having been able to find them all the way in Australia.
In the end, Robin's estate was officially valued by the Treasury at £190,000,
which will be split between his 21 heirs.
Although at the time he died Robin had no contact with his family,
he was looked after and treasured, not only by his official carers,
but by the community as a whole.
The funeral went beautifully.
It was a really lovely send-off for Robin.
Sue had arranged for a tree to be planted in Robin's memory at his parents' grave,
where his ashes had been scattered.
All his friends gathered at his favourite pub to toast their good friend
and one of Twickenham's favourite sons.
It was a lovely day, very special.
It was a very nice day. He would have enjoyed it.
He would have had a pint with us, wouldn't he?
Yes, most definitely.
He'd have certainly raised his glass and said, "Cheers."
If you would like advice about building your family tree or making a will, go to bbc.co.uk.
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