1. Introduction & Notices


HHA BV Live provides a simple to use system of finding newly added unclaimed intestate estates published by BV (Bona Vacantia) from 1997 to current date . 


Claimed estates listed are for claims which have previously been listed on this site only, and do not contain any historical solved cases which are removed by BV when claimed.


Help is ordered in sequences and if needed the entire help files can be printed out.


Please contact us with queries or suggestions to help with the further development of this Help System or the service in general.


2. Membership - Joining HHA BV LIVE


You can join HHA BV live in return for a MONTHLY subscription of £10 payable by PayPal subscription which is the only method of payment. 


If you register free, you can search and view current estates but other key features are only available to paying members - 

  • My Saved Searches
  • My EMail Alerts
  • My Resolved case notes
  • Resolved Cases


You can CANCEL the subscription at any time, otherwise it renews automatically.


For information on HHA and its other services to help with probate and asset research please see


3. Searching and Finding Unclaimed Estates


Unclaimed estates are listed with LATEST on top, together with the status ACTIVE 


You can browse estates page by page or search older estates (1997 to current date) there are selection options using keywords including part matches.


Where an estate disappears from the Public BV list it is retained on BV Live and shown as resolved.


You can SAVE a search and give it a name of your choice, which you can run later, edit or delete, these are show in your left menu as MY SAVED SEARCHES. 


Estates listed as Pre April 2011 were on the previous BV weekly list and likely to be valued >£5,000 although neither BV or BV Live can quarantee that. 


4. Resolved Estates - what you need to know


Resolved (claimed) estates are retained on HHA BV LIVE for the long term  and can be found using the same search options as for unclaimed estates.


We show a case as resolved only where it has been removed by BV from their list, so some cases may well have been claimed BUT show as Active for a period of time. 


You can opt to MONITOR any active unclaimed estate to be advised once it is claimed, either by you or another firm. This vital knowledge can alert you if another claims an estate to which your own clients are entitled. You can make contact with the named administrator before funds are released to them. Essential of the claimant may be a blood heir, BUT not an entitled heir under intestacy law.


If it is obvious an estate has been claimed/resolved yet is still listed by us please CONTACT US and advise us with suitable details inc the name of the administrator. 


You, as a member can ADD a note against any resolved case, regardless if it was your case or not. This may be the name and contact details of the administrator of the estate - most useful if you or other members have researched, found and signed other heirs to a claimed estate. 


If you are ADMINISTERING any estate then it is a good idea to add your OWN NOTE telling other members, this is of course OPTIONAL but a useful part of your "Due Dilegence" in closing off an estate. 


Any NOTES you add to a resolved case show in your members menu as MY SAVED NOTES 


When browsing or searching RESOLVED estates and see a summary of those estates any with NOTES attached show with a flashing GREEN image. These include your own notes and/or those of other members. 


You should note that an estate can be claimed by and paid to a blood relative who is NOT necessarily a legitimate beneficiary under the rules of intestacy. 


5. Email Alerts - getting to know new cases fast


New, unclaimed assets can be posted to the BV public web site at varying times/days and clearly it takes time and effort to keep a watch for new estates.


HHA BV LIVE monitors the BV site and swiftly downloads posted new estates and identifies resolved/claimed estates instantly updating its unique database system for the benefit of all members. 


With HHA BV LIVE you can set up one or more email alerts to email you the latest new estates (full record) either ALL or by an option, or range of options similar to searching all estates.


Email alerts can only be sent to the registered members email address.


You can edit, or delete any saved email alerts via MY EMAIL ALERTS on the members menu. 




6. Printing and Saving Estate Records


You can print and/or save details of any estate listed including those resolved.


Use the PRINT/SAVE PAGE feature at the bottom of each record.


Use the print link after selecting printer and number of copies to suit your needs


If you experience any printing issues, SAVE as PDF and then print the PDF.


You can also SAVE the record as a PDF file to your computer or external source - click SAVE and select location to save and NAME the file - name of deceased etc 


7. Monitoring estates for claiming

In February 2014 we introduced a new service 


Subscribers can opt to monitor any unclaimed estate and be notified by email immediately when it is claimed and thus removed from the open cases list.


This information is useful for subscribers on two fronts;


1. Monitoring their own cases for which a claim has been submitted, the system will advise you it is accepted hopefully before you get the official letter from TSOL. There is always the risk of official notification letters being lost or delayed, and potentially weeks pass before you might query a claim, only to find out was already approved some time ago.


2. Cases that are being researched by you may be claimed by another person or firm, which may mean your own research should be stopped if you are only just starting on a case.


In some cases you may already have one or more heirs signed who have a clear right to share in the proceeds of an estate, yet another claim may jeopardize you and your own clients rights, so the sooner you are aware of a claim the better.


With this prior knowledge you can ask TSOL for details of the claimant and the name and contact details of the person or firm who is handling the administration.


This prior knowledge can be made available to you BEFORE money is released to the claimant and/or their agent researcher, so if needed you can lodge an immediate claim with the estate administrator and prevent and distribution of funds to wrong heirs.


Becoming aware too late of a prior claim can put the researcher's reputation at risk, and cause considerable risk of legal actions as well as loss of, potentially substantial commission.


Remember that to succeed with a claim one only needs to prove a blood link to the deceased NOT necessarily a qualifying right to inherit from the estate.


No other subscribers know which estates are being monitored, you can stop monitoring an estate at anytime by deleting from MY MONITORED estates which also shows those resolved. 




8. Administering Claimed Estates


Successfully claimed estates worth <£15,000 will normally be released by TSOL on a simple indemnity basis, and more and more HHA members are adminstering estates on behalf of their clients.


Whilst most cases can be simple and straitforward, it is adviseable for members to attend a MASTER CLASS specific to administrators - for details of the next course please see


9. Higher Value Estates - what you need to know


By far the majority of estates listed are valued <£15,000, however estates listed on BV have no indication as to value, so from time to time you may research and claim a really valuable estate.


The administration of high value cases is best left to a professional probate lawyer ideally one with reasonable, or even fixed fees. We do not recommend specific firms for this role and each HHA member is best to cultivate a local firm for this task.


The costs of administration is borne from the estate, but the task should NOT be seen as a license to overcharge. Fees to settle an estate should always be seen as being fair and reasonable based on the time and complexity of each case.


Having a local friendly probate lawyer who can handle high value estates for you is useful to cultivate, and some HHA members pass ALL their cases to such a firm.  Do shop around and visit prospective firms, you may be able to get some research work in return, tracing missing beneficiaries even when there is a will left. 


Often it is possible to agree a ceiling or limit on admin fees, also it is important cases are processed quickly. Some legal processes however are necesary and cannot be rushed as they rely on external agencies which can be notoriously slow. 


Bigger cases can take 6 months - 2 years or more to close and your commission not paid until final distribution - albeit  potentially a large amount. 


10. Why is there an "Executors" column in the report?


There are occasions when someone dies leaving a valid will which does not dispose of their entire estate (commonly because a beneficiary predeceases them).


The undisposed residue of the estate will pass to those persons entitled to share in the deceased's intestate estate and, in the absence of entitled kin, to the Crown.


In such cases, although it is the executor's responsibility to advertise for, and consider any claims from, entitled relatives, the Treasury Solicitor will now include details of such estates on their website. The advert will include the executor's details (hence  the inclusion of this column on the list) because any kin claims should be directed to them.



11. Administering an estate - services


If you are new to adminstering a successfully claimed estate the HHA offers a range of services


The new document checking service will review your work, usually via email and electronically in a professional and confidential basis. The cost is reasonable based on the number of heirs and is a justifable cost to charge against the estate.


Small estate (less than 10 beneficiaries) £30

Medium estate (10-30 beneficiaries) £50 

Large estate (30+ beneficiaries) £70 


Closing off a case and distributing assets could be risky unless your research has been completed in detail.

For more details contact 



12. How do I search for a will of a close relative

Search for a Will with Certainty the National Will Register


For over a decade Certainty the National Will Register has been working towards ensuring that unknown or untraceable Wills are a thing of the past. By working with the legal profession, Will writers and the general public, Certainty has established a National Will Register that has in excess of 7.5 million Will registrations and growing daily.


Every day Certainty helps to search for missing, unknown or later Wills. At least 1 in every 10 searches discover a Will that was either presumed intestate or a later, unknown Will is brought to light.


Many genealogists and heir hunters incorporate a Certainty Will Search into their own work and recommend it to their clients; a search helps to identify any unknown beneficiaries before they have spent time and effort looking for natural heirs which can result in little or no return. Conducting a search early on can help to: prevent the incorrect distribution of an estate and claims that arise from this; to control research costs by understanding early on in a case whether a Will exists and it’s easy to do and low cost.


Certainty Searches are a disbursement expense of the estate, allowing you to claim any Will Searches through the estate.


To conduct your first search, visit




13. Reporting Errors or Misuse


HHA BV LIVE is for established, experienced and professional probate researcher members of the HHA and intended to benefit both you and other members. It relies on a spirit of friendly co-operation.


HHA BV LIVE is constantly striving to improve the member service where possible and welcomes suggestions from members.


If you see or experience an error with the working system or the data please CONTACT US and tell us about it in as much detail as you can.  We promise to deal with the problem swiftly and keep you informed.


If, especially with regards to RESOLVED cases you see abusive notes posted, or matters not useful to a particular case please CONTACT US and give us the name of the deceased - we can DELETE any note, take issue with the poster, and if necessary restrict or even cancel their membership. 


14. Make suggestions for improvements


Tell us your thoughts and ideas to improve HHA BV LIVE, and we will see what we can do.


Remember we cannot do miracles, all the data is collected from the BV site, so if it is wrong or missing, or gets taken off and put back later it may cause issues with some of the data and the way we handle it.


Remember also that the 2013 BV site is on trial and after March/April 2013 things may change again or the web can become a permanent working system. 


Rest assured all ideas are both encouraged and welcomed. 


15. Cancelling your membership


You can cancel your HHA BV LIVE membership at anytime, just trace the subscription to the HHA in History of your PayPal account and CANCEL.


Membership will then expire on the day in the month your membership is due for renewal.


You can restart your membership at anytime by logging into your account and starting a new subscription which will start on the date you create it. 


16. Ideas and Suggestions for New Features


The following is a list of POSSIBLE new features being considered. We have to consider that the current BV site is the source of all data for this site and any new features listed would be added after the BV trial period ends circa April 2013.


1. My Saved Estates - option to save individual estates to "watch" - these can  be saved during a view of the record and when/if the status changes to RESOLVED/CLAIMED then this would be reflected in the file. It is not clear which order such saved estates would be listed in - date of saving, date of death or other factors.


2. Communicate with other members - this might be useful on some resolved estates - any messages would not reveal the email of either party and may be sent via a PMB (private message board) via the site (more likely) or sent direct to the member via normal email (which may identify the sender. 


3. Option to UPLOAD final estate accounts to RESOLVED estates - this is useful if there is ever a dispute over the quality or finalising an estates. Some estates claimed by a qualifying blood relative are known to have just taken the money and ignored other heirs. An existing notes feature on RESOLVED cases is still little used - overall these features are to help HHA member subscribers to BV Live and not for general public view/access. 


Please advise if you think the above ideas are worthwhile, or make other suggestions to modify the above, or indeed suggest new features. Use CONTACT US to advise.