A SOLICITORS firm is searching for the long-lost relatives of a Kidderminster man who died in Australia, leaving behind an estate worth $AU400,000 and no will.

An apartment near Sydney belonging to the late Martin John Smith, who was born in Kidderminster in the 1940s, will be handed over to the state if his next of kin doesn't come forward.

Mr Smith was born in Kidderminster on February 13, 1942 and lived in Hemming Street with his parents.

Dudley News:

Strangely, his baptism certificate is dated March 21, 1941 - nearly a year before he was born - and is signed by vicar J H Balmforth of St John's.

When he obtained his driving licence on August 4, 1971, he was living in Canterbury Road.

He came to Australia in 1972, but never married and had no children, meaning his one-bedroom poolside apartment in Parramatta and funds accumulated in various bank accounts will go firstly to surviving parents, then to siblings or their children if deceased, and then to aunts and uncles.

Dudley News:

A friend of Mr Smith's, who contacted Haskard & Co Solicitors to help track down the next of kin, said he always described himself as a "Barnardos boy" - although the organisation has no record of him.

Searches have revealed that Martin had a brother named Brian, and his parents resided at Corporation Street.

Greg Haskard, of Haskard & Co, told The Shuttle: "We assume that both parents are deceased and we are seeking details of their deaths.

"The best hope is that Brian Smith may still be alive and if not, his children.

"The estate has an estimated value over $AU400,000. The alternative is for his estate to pass to the Crown."

Anyone with information on Mr Smith's next of kin can contact Haskard & Co by emailing greg@haskardco.com.au.