A key aspect of the service Blanchards provide is our full house clearance for probate properties. This comes after we have located beneficiaries to the estate and have been instructed to manage the property. Our clearance team has been through every property imaginable from terraced houses in rack and ruin and hoarder houses to stunning family homes and mini mansions. However, it is often what’s inside the property which is noteworthy. When clearing a property, we have encountered numerous hidden gems along with terrifying surprises. We deal with an average of 5 probate properties a month, so this comes with the territory. Here are some of the more interesting finds in our history.
One of our intestates was a successful Bristol based sex therapist. Her house was essentially a storage unit as she owned this property but lived elsewhere with a partner. Among her assorted worldly possessions was her collection of sex diaries and memoirs along with many sex books which she had published. Due to the low value and privacy of such items, we ended up disposing of them.
Across many different estates, it remains clear that the popularity for the Royals has dwindled as generations go on. Numerous intestates of ours have held memorabilia for the royal family. These memorabilia mostly consisted of plates celebrating each jubilee of Her Majesty, some of which being quite rare and valuable. There was also limited-edition silverware, replica crowns and original photographs of the Royal Family. Queen Elizabeth II even knighted one intestate, keeping an MBE award.
Historical artifacts of all varieties frequently pop up in our probate properties and can add considerable value to the estate. One such instance included finding an array of Nazi memorabilia, including uniforms, medals and other dubious artifacts. This raised questions in the heads of our clearance team with what to do with such items. Do we dispose of them? Would auctioneers even want to go near this kind of stuff? Ultimately, we contacted the beneficiaries and informed them of the situation. They agreed to handle the memorabilia as they themselves were also keen WW2 collectors.
Not all intestates own properties, therefore our clearance team is not needed. However, with one case we were alerted of extremely suspect items by a landlord of an intestate. The deceased lived in a caravan on a holiday park before dying in hospital. When the landlord was finally allowed to enter the caravan he found extremely hazardous items and chemicals. The intestate was making or attempting to make bombs in his caravan using both legal and illegal items to do so. The police were called and the items were correctly disposed of. The intestate had no known ties to any explosions or terrorism attacks, but it is still a concerning and scary find.
Overall, we find lots of hidden treasures as well as troublesome artifacts in our probate properties. For every high value piece of jewellery, there is a hoarder house with pet remains. We truly see it all and with us dealing with more probate properties than ever, we expect to discover more gems and horrors in the near future. If you have an enquiry or wish to speak to Blanchards about the process, please contact us here.