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Blanchards are one of the top probate research firms in the UK. What’s probate research you ask?  Well, it refers to tracing Beneficiaries who would be entitled to an estate. This is carried out when the Intestate (the deceased) did not write a Will and no close family could not be located to claim  said estate. Therefore, we must use our expertise in genealogy to trace their nearest heir. 

The Case  

Our intestate John passed away in October. He was known down his street as a friendly man who was always “pottering about”. John would regularly see his neighbours in passing and even go through the effort of taking his neighbours bins out for them. Concerns were raised when his neighbours hadn’t seen him for a number of weeks and his own bins hadn’t been left out. Upon investigating the property, Johns neighbours found him dead on the ground. Police officers were called to the premises, finding the property in disarray.  


John’s home (which he owned) was a hoarder house with very little care taken for the property in what seemed a number of years. We see this very often in our industry; An elderly lady or gentleman, alone, struggling to upkeep the demands of their property. John died of natural causes, however, his body had been tampered with by his only cohabitants, his two cats. Due to suddenly passing away, the doors and windows were all shut and the cats had no food or water for weeks. When his body was found, they noticed Johns fingers had been gnawed and nibbled by his desperate cats. They have since been adopted by his neighbours.  


It is believed that the property began to deteriorate after Johns wife passed away a year prior. John was married twice in his life. His first marriage in the 70s produced two children which grew up estranged from their Father after that marriage ended. He then married his second wife, who he stayed with until her death in 2021.  


Although estranged, Johns children were still his sole beneficiaries due to the laws of intestacy. Upon contacting his daughter to inform her of the estate, she told us of the relationship she shared with her Father. Johns daughter shared that after her parents separated when she was 8 she lost regular contact with John. 10 years later they met up again and had a coffee after her 18th birthday. They have not seen each other since that day. Understandably, this was a surprising and indifferent time for Johns children. However, they signed with Blanchards to inherit from their Father’s estate.  


This case Is still proceeding. Due to John owning his property, this estate is considered high value. Other properties on Johns street are valued anywhere between £250,000 and half a million. This number does not include any money in Johns banks or stored elsewhere, so the estate could grow considerably still.  


Overall, this is another bittersweet case we have encountered. Another elderly person struggling to upkeep the demand of their property and eventually dying alone. However, Johns children are set to inherit a life changing sum of money from someone they became considerably distant with.  


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