Policy change from 31 January 2022 : UH4 - Administration of estates 

Please note that from 00.01 hours on 31 January 2022 , Policy UH4 (administration of estates) will be replaced by the following policy. The change reflects how NUHU will deal with personal belongings, including unclaimed jewellery held by NUHU at that date. Please note that where the QLTR office is also holding unclaimed jewellery and photographs at that date, these will also be disposed of in accordance with the new policy. 


UH4 -  Administration of estates and personal belongings

Administration means that all the known assets belonging to the deceased are ingathered, and all known debts due by the deceased are paid from the estate. Debts will be paid when we are in possession of sufficient funds to enable us to do so. This can occasionally lead to a delay in payment if we are waiting for funds. Heritage is sold in accordance with Section UH5 below.

Dealing with a deceased’s personal belongings

The arrangements for the disposal of the deceased’s personal belongings are made by NUHU.
NUHU will retain photographs and jewellery items for a period of 6 months from notification to NUHU of a death. NUHU will also store for 6 months mobile phones, tablets and laptops, after which they will be wiped before disposal either by sale or destruction.
Depending on the value, all other property may be sold, distributed to local charity shops or otherwise disposed of.
In the case of jewellery, if no spouse, civil partner or blood relatives have been identified to NUHU during that period, NUHU will arrange for the jewellery to be disposed of under the direction of an auctioneer. Where such relatives are identified in the 6 month period, NUHU will hold onto jewellery and photographs for a further 6 months to allow the items to be claimed.
In all cases, any sums realised from the sale of individual items by NUHU will be credited to the estate. Unclaimed photographs will be scanned into digital format and the physical photographs will be destroyed. The digital copies will be passed to the QLTR office and will be held by them for 20 years.



All staff within NUHU are currently working from home due to the Coronavirus(COVID 19) outbreak. For any urgent enquiries staff can be contacted on the below work mobile numbers:-

Allan's Work Mobile:      07407895159

Yvonne's Work Mobile: 07407895189

Katy's Work Mobile:      07407895448

Elizabeth's Work Mobile: 07557657520

Michael's Work Mobile:  07435995059

Matthew's Work Mobile:   07502218037

Nicola's Work Mobile: 07423675116

Currently the work phones are not in use please contact one of the above mentioned mobiles when contacting our office


 We have changed the way we work in response to the Coronavirus (COVID 19) outbreak and would ask that all communication with the office is by email only. Email us at: _NationalUltimusHaeresUnit@copfs.gov.uk We are continuing to monitor the situation and will provide an update on our website if there any changes.

Where a person who is domiciled in Scotland dies without leaving a Will (often referred to as dying  intestate) and has no known and traceable blood relatives, spouse or civil partner who would be entitled by law to succeed to his/her property, or cohabitant who would be entitled to make a claim under section 29 of the Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006, then the property in their  estate, both heritable and moveable, falls to the Crown as ultimus haeres (literally meaning Last Heir).

A Scotland-wide National Ultimus Haeres Unit, which is part of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, has been set up in the  Hamilton Procurator Fiscal’s Office to investigate such estates in Scotland.

NUHU will make preliminary inquiries as regards a deceased’s estate and where the estate is likely to be solvent but no relatives can be traced the Unit will pass information regarding the estate to the office of the Queen’s and Lord Treasurer’s Remembrancer (QLTR) who will administer any estate which has fallen to the Crown as ultimus haeres.

A list of potential ultimus haeres estates which have been reported to and are presently undergoing investigation by NUHU can be found by clicking on the link on the left.

If you have an enquiry and need to contact the Unit the address is:

The National Ultimus Haeres Unit
Procurator Fiscal Office
Cameronian House
3/5 Almada Street

Telephone Number:   0300 0204196  or  0141 420 8804   

or alternatively please e-mail: