Public funerals

'Bona Vacantia' is a legal term relating to the situation in which a person dies without leaving a will and there is no known next of kin to take ownership of the property and possessions (“the Estate”) belonging to that person. This is also known as dying intestate.

Bona Vacantia

'Bona Vacantia' is a legal term relating to the situation in which a person dies without leaving a will and there is no known next of kin to take ownership of the property and possessions (“the Estate”) belonging to that person. This is also known as dying intestate.

If we have information relating to such cases, we inform the Treasury Solicitor’s office for them to publish details on their website. This information includes the name, date of death and area of death of the deceased person.

We receive a large number of Freedom of Information (FOI) requests about Bona Vacantia cases. To make it easier for you to find this information, we publish all the cases we refer to the Treasury Solicitor on this page.

All information we are able to disclose about these cases under the FOI Act is then made available on the Treasury Solicitor’s website. As such, our response to FOI requests for such information – under section 22 of the FOI Act – is to refer people to that page.

What information can the council provide?

The following information identifies deaths since 1 April 2012 (Financial Year), which we have referred to the Treasury Solicitor's Office:

Surname Date of death  Date passed to the Treasury 
Rooney 15 September 2012 31 December 2012
Owens 11 October 2012 Not sent
Whitfield 5 November 2012 Not sent
Jolley 1 October 2013 11 November 2013
Unsworth 7 October 2013 Not sent
Roberts 25 October 2013 Not sent
Wilson 4 November 2014 Not Sent
Renshaw 22 November 2014 Not sent
Foulger 21 January 2015 19 March 2015
Carney 9 February 2015 Not Sent
Ellis 16 April 2015 12 May 2015
Williams 22 April 2015 8 May 2015
Watkinson 9 May 2015 Not sent
Tait 22 May 2015 Not sent
Haggart 29 May 2015 Not sent
Proudman 11 June 2015 Not sent
Lightfoot 26 June 2015 Not sent
Noone 2 December 2015 15 December 2015
Hambleton 27 April 2016 Not sent
Eden - Eserekumo 3 August 2016 Not sent
Godbold 11 October 2016 Not sent
Reinburg 2 February 2017 Not sent
Baguley 4 April 2017 Not sent
Lidstone 14 April 2017 14 September 2017
Jackson 4 May 2017 Not sent
Fitzpatrick 2 October 2017 17 November 2017
Catlow 15 October 2017 Not sent 
Beardwood 16 November 2017 Not sent
Carroll 17 January 2018 Not sent
Carlin 16 April 2018 Not sent
Prior 9 May 2018 Not sent
Melia 15 June 2018 Not sent
Mansfield 10 September 2018 Not sent
Leigh 12 September 2018 Not sent
Herd 18 June 2018 Not sent
Kristensen 28 August 2018 Not sent
Kelley 9 October 2018 Not sent
Francis 28 November 2018 Not sent
McGuinness 4 March 2019 12 June 2019
Bradburn 23 March 2019 Not Sent
Hodgskin 24 April 2019 Not sent
Brennan 25 April 2019 Not sent
Wood 8 June 2019 Not sent
Scott 2 July 2019 Not sent
Rothwell 2 July 2019 Not sent
Cartledge 10 May 2019 Not sent
Sutcliffe 28 November 2019  Not sent
Hughes 25 January 2020 Not sent
Downes 9 February 2020 Not sent
Hoadley 17 May 2020 Not sent
Hinton 28 May 2020 Not sent
Hall 2 January 2021 Not sent
Williams 22 February 2021 Not sent
Beswick 30 May 2021 Not sent
Rigby 1 August 2021 Not sent
Murray 20 June 2021 Not sent
Jordan 22 June 2021 Not sent 
Makin 9 January 2022 Not sent
Dunne 1 April 2022 Not sent
Taylor 3 April 2022 Not sent
Nicoll 3 May 2022 Not sent
Wilson  25 October 2021 Not sent
Furlong 14 March 2022 Not sent
Unknown 28 January 2022 Not sent
Seaman 23 June 2022 Not sent
Smith 3 August 2022 Not sent
Whelan 25 August 2022 Not sent
Bennett 29 August 2022 Not sent
Brierley 5 September 2022 Not sent
Boulton 10 October 2022 Not sent
Disley 2 December 2022 Not sent
Maher 29 December 2022 Not sent
Bradshaw 29 January 2023 Not sent
Law 30 March 2023 Not sent
Donaldson  19 April 2023 Not sent
Bold 4 May 2023 Not sent
Goodier 3 June 2023 Not sent


Under section 31 (1) of the FOI Act, we will not publicly disclose details which could provide opportunities for criminal acts to be committed, such as theft and identity fraud.

Public Health Funerals

Under the Public Health (Control of Disease Act) Act 1984 when a resident passes away in the area outside of a hospital and there is no one else willing to pay, we will make the necessary arrangements for a public health funeral. We will try to locate surviving relatives or friends of the deceased and, in some cases, pass the responsibility on to them.

What costs the council can reclaim?

Under Section 46 Subsection (1) of the Public Health (Control Disease Act) 1984 the funeral costs are the first expenses claimed on any estate. We are entitled to collect any and all sums of money due to or belonging to the deceased and to sell any belongings of the deceased in order to help offset the costs of the funeral and expenses.

If, after we have deducted the funeral and associated costs:

  •  the remaining estate is over £500;
  •  there are no other bills outstanding; and
  •  there is no known next of kin

We will refer the remaining estate to the Treasury Solicitor in accordance with their guidelines for referring Bona Vacantia estates.

It is at this point we will make information public on this web page.

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