Mysterious bank account - help and advice needed!

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Marriage, Relationships & Families
17 replies 2K views
sibisi73sibisi73 Forumite
12 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Marriage, Relationships & Families

First of all, if this could be better posted (or answered) in another part of the forum please let me know but it was the closest subject I could find....

Five years ago my gran passed away, aged 95, and shortly afterward my dad paid a visit to the local branch or her bank, with requisite ID, death certificate etc to close down her bank account. When he handed over the documents TWO bank accounts appeared on the system and the cashier asked if he'd be closing both.

My dad was perplexed as he only knew of the one account, my gran's basic current account. But it seems that some time ago she also opened another account, seemingly a trust account. Unfortunately when the cashier looked into this further she discovered that it was indeed a trust account set up in the name of Robert Smithers and that the account transferred into his name when he turned 18. As this date had now passed she could not divulge any further information to my dad - no date when the account was opened, no details of the balance, no indication of who the account holder is/was nor when he turned 18.

There are a couple of things I'd like to ask - can anyone tell me what will happen to this account if it is not touched and where the money my gran deposited will end up? Secondly, is there any way to access information about the account.

It's pertinent to point out that we have no idea how much (or how little) is held in the account. My dad decided not to pursue it straightaway and has only just told me about the situation so I thought I'd post here for advice. Smithers is our family name (my gran was Agnes, my dad is Alan) and there is no-one (despite the common first name) in our family called Robert. I have researched my family tree over the last 15 or so years and, surprisingly, there hasn't been anyone called Robert Smithers in the family going back to 1805. We have exhausted all leads, speaking to relatives etc and have come to the assumption that a mistake may have been made with the account name. If we could find out more info about the account, date opened, age of Robert Smithers now it might help us track him down if he does indeed exist...but with no details forthcoming from the bank we are stuck.

thanks in advance for any help!


  • Stephb1986_2Stephb1986_2 Forumite
    6.3K Posts
    from what i've seen on telly heir hunters what will happen is if her estate is unclaimed the government will get it. Could it not be someones middle name instead of first name? just a wild thought.


    Steph xx
  • pinkemsypinkemsy Forumite
    350 Posts
    This is really intriguing, whilst I have no advice to offer, I will check back at this thread with interest.
  • pinkemsypinkemsy Forumite
    350 Posts
    There are 32 listings for Robert Smithers on Facebook, although we don't know his age and if Facebook is a valid option!!
  • floss2floss2 Forumite
    8K Posts
    Could this be a child conceived outside of your grandparents' marriage? or one who was born & adopted before another relative was married? or even a child born with either physical or mental incapacity who was taken / handed over into care? Bear in mind that things were done differently a couple of generations own family has several secrets that will remain so because there is nobody left to ask now they have come out of the woodwork.

    When you say you have researched your family tree, have you checked all parish & birth records for where your grandparents lived both before & after their marriage? And for all other members of the family?
  • squibbs25squibbs25 Forumite
    1.3K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    Is it possible that your gran/grandad set up an account for a godchild, niece or nephew?

    Hope you get to the bottom of the mystery.
    Good luck.

    My beloved dog Molly
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  • mspigmspig Forumite
    986 Posts
    Trying a middle name may be a good idea, as in my dads family they are all called by their middle name such as my dad has always been known by trevor but his first name is actually william just that its not used except for legal documents, the same with all of his brothers.
  • moonpennymoonpenny Forumite
    2.2K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    She obviously did not leave a will!

    I think. in your situation I would get some legal advice or else the account could be sat there forever if no-one is looking for the mystery person.

    I too watch Heir Hunters - it's fascinating, but like they say on the program, if the amounts involved arn't worth their time then they don't investigate and the government ends up with it. Good Luck!
  • Thanks for replies. I think we've exhausted all possibilities re middle names, nieces, nephews and godchildren. I was wondering if there's anything we could do to get the bank to give us any further info.

    I think she did leave a will. What happened in this case is she set up an account which transferred into someone else's name when they turned 18 - so now only that person can access the account. The bank have confirmed that going by the dates they have that account now belongs to Robert and only he can access it. Perhaps this means that it will sit there idle in perpetuity.

    the Facebook idea is a good one (although I did change the surname as I didn't want to put our actual names up on the forum, but I might give that a go). If it was, indeed, a child out of wedlock, or a child adopted there isn't a single person in the family who knows anything about it.

    If this gets any further I will post again, but thanks for the advice so far. Any other ideas most welcome!
  • belfastgirl23belfastgirl23 Forumite
    8K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper I've been Money Tipped!
    Does your grandmother have any old friends, brothers or sisters still alive who might be able to throw some light on this?

  • mrcowmrcow Forumite
    15.2K Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    If there was another child, would requesting a copy of her medical records help to establish that?
    "One day I realised that when you are lying in your grave, it's no good saying, "I was too shy, too frightened."
    Because by then you've blown your chances. That's it."
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