In rare instances, we find ourselves truly lost for words by the outcome of cases. We have had 4 bedroom houses in the heart of London which understandably sound like huge estates, but the properties end up in ruin. Then on the other side of the coin, council properties who’s resident hides a secret treasure. This case is the latter.
Our Intestate, Mr Richards passed away in June 2020 after a battle with rectal cancer. On the surface this case was a standard, low value, case of intestacy. Mr Richards passed away in his council house in Bedfordshire with very little sign of wealth. Born in London, Richards never married and had no children, spending his final years alone. He developed prostate cancer and after a short battle, passed away in a hospice. Mr Richards was close with one of his Brothers who sadly passed away weeks after him, leaving another Brother and his only Sister as his remaining heirs.
When contacting his remaining siblings, they were initially hesitant to sign with us. This is because they were adamant that their Brother had no money and nothing of value. They insisted that “its in our best interest to drop the case”. However, we have dealt with numerous cases where family members say something similar, and it is often still worth our while after distributing the estate. After explaining this they agreed to sign with us though still not expecting much to come their way.
When dealing with an estate we must assure we have account of all assets of the deceased. This means properties bank accounts and so on. Nine times out of ten, the majority of the estate are comprised of bank accounts and properties. However, in this case, Richards had no property and his bank accounts were scarce. Everything his siblings were saying appeared to be correct… but it wasn’t.
After continuing with our asset search we discovered Richards had an account with Fidelity and Hargreaves Lansdown, international financial service corporations. Richards had shares in numerous companies amassing a combined value of 1.1 million pounds. We do not know if Mr Richards himself was aware his stocks had grown to such an astronomical value. His living condition and way of life did not represent his wealth, with him remaining in council properties and making no extravagant purchases. On the surface he was a relatively unwealthy man sitting on an enormous fortune.
His siblings were understandably surprised by this turn of events. Expecting nothing and instead receiving life changing sums of money each. As our company grows we find ourselves encountering more and more interesting cases. Stay tuned to keep updated with more fascinating work we undertake.