Duchy of Corn­wall re­ceives £1m from de­ceased res­i­dents

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business - By Harry Bren­nan

THE Prince of Wales has col­lected more than £1m from peo­ple in Corn­wall who have died with­out leav­ing be­hind a will, un­der ar­chaic rules re­lat­ing to the Duchy.

Prince Charles re­ceived £868,000 from de­ceased res­i­dents or dis­solved but un­claimed com­pa­nies between April 2019 and the end of last year, along with £201,000 from Jan­uary 2020 to the end of the 201920 fi­nan­cial year in March, the lat­est ac­counts show.

The same ac­counts re­vealed the Prince’s an­nual in­come from the Duchy had risen to more than £22m, al­though is ex­pected to fall due to the slump in as­set val­ues caused by the Covid-19 pan­demic.

When res­i­dents of Corn­wall die with­out leav­ing a will or any sur­viv­ing rel­a­tives, the prop­erty of their es­tate passes to the Duke of

Corn­wall, Prince Charles, in line with laws that gov­ern un­claimed as­sets – or “bona

va­can­tia” – dat­ing back to the reign of King Wil­liam IV.

Through­out most of Eng­land and Wales un­claimed es­tates even­tu­ally be­come the prop­erty of the Crown. This money has his­tor­i­cally been used to pay out hon­orary pen­sions and other in­comes in re­turn for state ser­vice, such as the Sov­er­eign Grant for mem­bers of the Royal fam­ily.

The Prince, as Duke of Corn­wall, re­tains some of this money to pass it to any pre­vi­ously uniden­ti­fied rel­a­tives who may come for­ward. As of March the Duchy had re­tained £824,000.

The money gen­er­ated from un­claimed es­tates is ul­ti­mately passed on to a benev­o­lent en­dow­ment fund, which has paid out more than £850,000 to good causes in the South West over the past seven years.

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