$87m inheritances unclaimed

UNCLAIMED inheritances worth a total of $87 million are up for grabs with the pool of eligible relatives extending to the cousins of deceased NSW residents.

The State Government distributed $34 million to unsuspecting relatives in the 2007-08 financial year, but unclaimed estates remain at more than double that amount.

The recipients were either named in a will or a relative of a person who died without a will.

Recent changes to the legislation means first cousins are now eligible heirs after spouses and children, parents, siblings, grandparents and aunts and uncles.

Mr Hatzistergos said the new laws also ensure that spouses automatically inherit the estates of their partners when there is no will.

People can check the government's website at www.pt.nsw. gov.au for a full list of unclaimed estates.



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