The estates of a handful of Braintree district residents who died without any known relatives remain unclaimed years later.

A list of all unclaimed estates in the UK, which is maintained online by the Government’s Treasury Solicitor, currently contains more than 10,000 names.

At least 15 of the names are people who were either born or died in Braintree district.

Kevin Elsdon, a bachelor, was born in Wethersfield in 1954 and died in Braintree on Christmas Eve 2005, aged 51.

The most historic date is 1996 - Idalena Varella was a spinster who was born in Braintree and died in the town at the age of 70.

But the majority of cases involve deaths since the turn of the century - the most recent in the list is Robin Clarkson, who died in Braintree last May.

The current list details seven deaths in Braintree, two deaths in Witham and five deaths in Halstead.

Cases are referred to the Treasury’s Bona Vacantia division (BVD) when a person dies without leaving a will and has no known relatives.

In the event of no will being left, husbands, wives or civil partners have priority to the deceased person’s estate.

The BVD’s list of entitlement has eight sections, the lowest priority of which is “half uncles and aunts or their children”.

A BVD spokesman said: “If you are, for example, a first cousin of the deceased, you would only be entitled to share in the estate if there are no relatives who are higher in the order of entitlement.

“Claims will be accepted by BVD within, generally, 12 years from the date that the administration of the estate was completed.”