Cumbrians could be sitting on a nest egg and just didn’t know it – with as many as 32 estates still unclaimed in the county.

When someone dies without a will or no known family, their property, which can be buildings, money or possessions, passes to the Crown.

And currently in the county there are 32 open cases, waiting for family members to make a claim.

But time is running out on four of the cases, with a 30-year limit set to elapse in 2020.

Places of death are scattered across the county including Egremont, Workington, Whitehaven, Carlisle, Cockermouth, Maryport, Barrow and Kendal.

A treasury spokesman said: “Intestate estates are claimable in law for up to 12 years from the date the administration is completed.

“In addition, the Treasury Solicitor’s policy is to consider claims for up to 30 years from the date of death.

“Estates which are not claimed within three months of the initial advert are administered by the Treasury Solicitor and the balance will pass to HM Treasury at the end of each financial year.

“If the estate is claimed within 30 years of the date of death, we will account for the balance of the estate to the claimant.”

The estates which are on a short time limit include Elizabeth McQuilken, maiden name Milligan, who died in Carlisle aged 99 on June 5, 1990.

There is also Welsh-born Olwen Phillipson, maiden name of Evans, who died on August 3 of the same year, aged 74, in Kendal. She is listed as the widow of John James Phillipson.

Margaret Josephine Gill died in Barrow on August 11, 1990. Her maiden name was Kilcawley.

And the fourth estate is of Agnes Leiper, who died in Whitehaven on November 2, 1990. She was 76 at the time of her death and was born in Carlisle.

Members of the public can see the estates that are still unclaimed by going to:

And you can put in a claim to an estate via this link: