Often when visiting hoarder houses, we are met with stack upon stacks of rubbish. Though there is the saying “one mans trash is another mans treasure”, we find it hard to believe anyone would keep these items. However, it can be a rare occurrence for these properties to hoard true treasures, by anyone’s definition. This case is one such instance.
Blanchards were referred this case by the bona vacantia. This is the way we receive most of our case referrals and can provide us with cases of both tiny and large value. This case was the latter with the deceased owning his property in Canvey Island, Essex. Age 83, The deceased passed away with no Will after sadly being predeceased by his wife and son years prior. It seems to be a common occurrence for widows, widowers and those who have lost their family to not write a will. This is called dying intestate. Our Intestate lived a relatively quiet and unassuming life besides his passion for travelling. His journeys took him to far-flung corners of the globe, collecting souvenirs and artifacts, amassing a vast collection of antiques over the years. He was particularly drawn to the beauty of Asia, South America, and Europe.
Visiting the property
After signing up relatives, Blanchards and PPS entered the property to commence our stage one clearance. This is where we gain entry to the property and attempt to locate any will which may be present. We also secure the property and ensure it is in good a good condition. The properties we visit can be in rack and ruin, often hoarder houses with mounds of rubbish. However, this intestate was hoarding something different. Upon entering his house, it was like stepping into a museum of world history. Every room was filled to the brim with antiques from all corners of the globe. From intricately carved African masks to delicate Chinese porcelain, from Persian rugs to European paintings. Our Intestate had collected it all. The sheer variety and historical significance of the items left our clearance team astounded. The magnum opus was, an antique great grandfather clock which could make up a large portion of the estate in its own right.
The inheritors of the antiques were related through unique circumstances also. Said beneficiaries happened to be both half siblings as well as nieces and nephews of the intestate. This was because our intestate was adopted by his Grandfather whereas his half siblings were not. Our Intestates Mother passed away and the Father opted not to take care of the child, with his parents taking over the responsibility. The Father remarried the following year having children with his second wife. Due to the adoption, these children are both nieces and nephews, as well as half siblings. By all accounts they were not close to their Brother, learning of his passing through our agents contacting them.
What happens now?
Blanchard’s are actively working on the case and predict the full estate to be paid out in roughly a years time. Handling estates takes time, and estates with lots of high value assets and properties can take even longer. We will be going to auction for a lot of the antiques in the property and look forward to finding out how much extra they can add to already substantial estate. For more articles like this, please read our other blogs and follow us on LinkedIn.