Six cousins inherited a small fortune after the death of a long-lost ‘mystery’ relative in east London, leaving behind a windfall of £ 400,000.
Jacqueline Davidson died alone in her Ilford home in 2019 and was found a week later when it was discovered she was living in ‘appalling’ conditions in the dilapidated apartment.
The retiree died with no known relatives to organize her funeral or to search for her last will, reports the Telegraph.
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Ms Davidson was born in 1939 and spent most of her life in Ilford, working as a real estate agent, before retiring.
After her death, authorities investigated and discovered that she had £ 200,000 in an intact bank account, bringing the total value of her estate to around £ 400,000, including the value of her apartment.
Despite her wealth, authorities discovered that Ms. Davidson lived in abject poverty in the apartment, which was dilapidated and in “terrible condition”.
Redbridge’s board has asked Finders International, which specializes in tracing heirs to estates, property and assets, to help locate any living relatives who would be entitled to his estate.
Finders International Founder and CEO Danny Curran described how his company thoroughly searched Ms Davidson’s apartment for key documents and, “to get a feel for the deceased and how she lived. “.
He said: “On this occasion it was quite shocking and incredibly sad to see how she was living.”
Mr Curran said Ms Davidson’s neighbors knew next to nothing about her, describing her as a “loner” who “stood for herself”.
After a thorough investigation, her team were able to locate six of Ms Davidson’s cousins, who will each inherit an equal share of her money.
Ms Davidson was an only girl, but her father was one of four boys and her mother had three sisters and a brother.
She is survived by two cousins on the maternal side and four on the paternal side, who will now inherit their fair share of her estate.
One of the beneficiaries, Ashley Davidson, 76, told the Daily Telegraph he had not seen his cousin for over 50 years and found the surprise windfall both “shocking” and “sad”.
Mr Davidson’s father was the brother of Jacqueline’s father, who died aged 38, and the two families lost contact after Jacqueline’s mother remarried.
Visiting his cousin’s apartment, long lost after her death, Mr Davidson said he was saddened by the terrible condition he found himself in.
He and his family then took over Ms Davidson’s funeral arrangements and she was buried in a nearby cemetery.
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Mr Curran said: “When people die without leaving a will or who appear to have no known relatives, the Crown can inherit the estate, although this does not happen for many years.
“We are working on cases like Jacqueline Davidson’s to find heirs and ensure that people inherit what is rightfully theirs, and we were delighted to reunite with Jacqueline’s loved ones.”
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