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Treasury Solicitor (Bona Vacantia)

Public Funerals

Daventry District Council, along with many other local authorities, has been experiencing a huge rise in Freedom of Information (FOI) requests from companies offering to trace the next of kin of persons being buried under the Public Health Act 1948.  In the early days of FOI requests came in about twice a year from approximately 3 companies.  More recently about 6 companies have been making requests every few weeks.  In response to the volume of FOI requests on this subject the Council has created this page to make public all cases it refers to the Treasury Solicitor.  In this way the Council has fulfilled its obligation under section 22 of the FOI Act (future publication) and will from this point forward refuse all such requests and refer applicants to this web page

 

The Public Health Act 1984

Under the Public Health (Control of Diseases) Act 1984 where no suitable funeral arrangements have been made, or are being made, for a deceased person who has died in the District of Daventry, public bodies including Daventry District Council and Northampton General Hospital have a duty to arrange the funeral.  This will be a basic funeral to minimise the cost to the local tax payer.

 

The Council will not part fund a funeral.  If funeral arrangements have already been made, such as instructions to a Funeral Director, the Council will not be responsible for any costs incurred. 

 

Reclaiming the costs

Under the Act the funeral costs are the first expenses claimed on any estate.  The Council is 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

·        no known next of kin

the Council refers the remaining estate to the Treasury Solicitor in accordance with their guidelines for referring ‘Bona Vacantia’ estates.

 

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

 

Although Bona Vacantia referrals are not a frequent occurrence, they do happen from time to time. 

 

 

Treasury Solicitor referrals (unresolved)

 

Name

Date of Death

Referred to Treasury Solicitor

W Bozzini

                            20/07/2012

Yes

D Newman

                            30/07/2012

No

W Neath

                            13/02/2012

No

F Benson

                            01/10/2011

No

A Ridge

                            31/07/2011

No

C Wardle

                            06/12/2010

No

D Forbes

                           08/04/2010

No

G Temple-Smith

                           02/02/2010

Yes

 

In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 names and addresses have been redacted or withheld under the following two exemptions:

 

Section 21 – Information accessible to applicant by other means. 

Although I can confirm that Daventry District Council (DDC) holds some of the information requested, DDC does not accept that it holds the information in its own right, but on behalf of the Treasury Solicitors' department.   Some details of the estate of those persons who have died have been passed onto the Treasury Solicitors' Department can be accessed via the Treasury Solicitors' website http://www.tsol.gov.uk/default.htm or at the BV website www.bonavacantia.gov.uk.

 
Section 31(1)(a) - law enforcement (prevention and detection of crime).

DDC will not disclose address details into the public domain where they relate to deceased’s empty properties as the property is likely to be unoccupied and might still contain the deceased's personal papers and effects. The Council does not believe it to be in the public interest to disclose information relating to empty properties prior to a full and thorough securing of the assets of the estate as undertaken by Treasury Solicitors.  Additionally, giving out the names of the deceased taken with other information easily available i.e. the electoral roll, telephone directory entry, 192.com etc would make identifying properties fairly easy.

 

Northamptonshire Registry Office

All deaths have to be registered with the local registrar.  The link to Northamptonshire’s Registry Office is http://www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/en/councilservices/community/bdm/pages/default.aspx

 

Bona Vacantia

The Bona Vacantia department of the Treasury Solicitors office administer the estates of persons who die intestate without known kin and collect the assets of dissolved companies and failed trusts.

www.bonavacantia.gov.uk/output 

 

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