A long-lost relative of the reclusive and eccentric New York heiress Huguette Clark, who stood to inherit $19 million of her $300 million fortune was found dead from hypothermia in in the US before he could be told of his due wealth.
Timothy Henry Gray’s body was discovered by children sledding under a Union Pacific Railroad overpass in Evanston, in the southwest of the state on Thursday, 27th of December 2012 as the temperatures hit 10 degrees.
Gray, 60, was the half great-nephew of Clark, who died in May 2011 aged 104 and tragically was unaware that he was potentially entitled to 6.25 percent of her copper mining fortune, which has been conservatively estimated at £307 million by the administrator of her estate.
In her will, Huguette Clak bequeathed no money at all to her family, leaving it all instead to her nurse, goddaughter, attorney, accountant, hospital, doctor, favourite museum and various employees and an art foundation she wanted established at her oceanfront estate in Santa Barbara, California.
It is thought that not one of her relatives had seen her in 40 years, although some had tried to keep contact with her through holiday cards and the occasional phone calls.
A public administrator joined in on behalf of Gray who lawyers had tried to contact about the battle, but all they could find were belongings abandoned in a storage locker – private investigators were not able to find him.
Indeed, even if investigators could not contact Gray and he had been granted a share of the massive inheritance, his spouse or children would have been entitled to it – however he had no wife or kids.
Gray’s older brother, Jerry, said that Tim had worked as a cowboy and lived in the Rocky Mountain states most of his life.
‘He was homeless essentially,’ said Jerry to NBC News.
Clark’s huge fortune, which came to light in court documents at the end of the year 2012 show that she had an $84.5 million estate which she had not visited in more than five years.
The reclusive millionaire [ pictured above with her father and sister] abandoned all five of her homes during her last 20 years, instead setting up residence in a New York hospital. [ Read more of this story here.]
In the US – states, federal agencies and other organizations collectively hold more than $58 billion in unclaimed cash and benefits. That’s roughly $186 for every U.S. resident. The unclaimed property comes from a variety of sources, including abandoned bank accounts and stock holdings, unclaimed life insurance payouts and forgotten pension benefits.
In the UK Her Majesty’s Treasury swallows £10bn every year from unclaimed estates. According to this UK website anyone who dies without making a will – known as dying intestate – has their financial affairs handled by the Government Legal Department, which was known until recently as the Treasury Solicitor.
If there are any living relatives, the inheritance will go to them. But if no one can be found, the money goes straight to the Treasury.
But relatives have 12 years to come forward and claim their inheritance and will be paid interest on the money. The ultimate deadline is 30 years, but it is at the discretion of the Government Legal Department and no interest will be paid for the final 18 years.
The list of unclaimed estates of people who have died without making a will is updated daily and is available online.
The list, compiled by the Treasury department Bona Vacantia – which means ‘vacant goods’ – goes back as far as 1997 when computer records began. For searches dating further back you have to go through paper records.
You can search the unclaimed estates list to see if you have any relatives who have an inheritance waiting for you. The list and the Government Legal Department cannot tell you if you are related to anyone whose estate appears on the list.
If you think you may have a claim, it is up to you to identify your relationship to the deceased and then submit evidence, including ID documents to prove it.
The Government Legal Department will ask for a family tree showing how you are related to the person who has died, including dates of birth, marriage and death of all those on the tree.
If it does appear you are entitled to all or part of the estate, you could be asked to supply documents including the full birth and marriage certificates of all the people between you and the deceased, and any information you have about the deceased person’s life history, such as when you were last in contact with them, their last known address and occupation.
It isn’t only potential beneficiaries who can match unclaimed assets with their rightful owners.
There are people and companies that trace heirs for a living. They trawl the unclaimed estates list and then trace the family histories of those who appear until they find legitimate heirs.
The heir hunters or genealogist firms typically charge a fee as a percentage of the estate. Recipients are generally happy to pay the fee – which can be up to 25 per cent of the money – because they are receiving a windfall that they weren’t expecting and might not have got it otherwise. [Read more about this story here]
DONT DIE POOR
Like Gray, many of us live a needless tragic life despite the fact that we are legal heirs of our heavenly father’s mega wealth.
The bible says,
“If a father dies and leaves an inheritance for his young children, those children are not much better off than slaves until they grow up, even though they actually own everything their father had. They have to obey their guardians until they reach whatever age their father set. And that’s the way it was with us before Christ came. We were like children; we were slaves to the basic spiritual principles of this world.
But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.” [Galatians 4:1-7]
There is no need to live in lack, fear, anger, sickness and hopelessness. Unlike the UK treasury, heavenly treasury allows you to claim your inheritance anytime. All you need is to just go to your father and claim your inheritance, now.