Ultimus haeres

A latin phrase meaning 'last or ultimate heir'.

This is a concept in Scots law and applies when a person in Scotland dies without leaving a will and no blood relatives can be traced. In these cases the net assets of the whole estate including cash, shares, property and land will be claimed for the Crown by the Queen's and Lord Treasurer's Remembrancer (QLTR). The QTLR will be responsible for ensuring that the deceased person's debts and funeral expenses are paid out of the estate. They will also make enquiries to check if there is a Will or a known spouse, civil partner or blood relation.

In England, the equivalent concept is called Bona Vacantia.

If, at a later stage, blood relatives of the deceased person do come forward the net assets can be paid to them on receipt of proof of the relationship.

Once the QLTR have started to administer the estate they will carry on until the matter is concluded even if a relative comes forward. Once the work is complete the QLTR will put details of the estate's net value on their unclaimed estates list. These are then put on their website and shown as "having fallen to the Crown".

If a relative comes forward the net assets will be transferred to them if they are able to produce a Confirmation document issued by the Commissary Department of the Sheriff Court in the area in which the deceased lived when he died.  This document will appoint the relative as "executor-dative" and the net assets can be released.

Queen's and Lord Treasurer's Remembrancer: QLTR Overview

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