The following names have been changed for data protection purposes
In our industry, we regularly work on cases where the intestate has left an estate with no one close to claim it. This can often be said for smaller estates where there is not a lot to leave anyway. Grand estates are usually resolved via a Will. However, in this instance, roughly a quarter of an acre of countryside and a property was left with no close family to claim.
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. In most cases the Beneficiary will not know the Intestate, being a distant relative. It is our duty to locate the Beneficiaries, inform them of the estate and begin the process of transferring it to them. You could call us ‘Heir Hunters’.
Roy Halpin, passed away in March 2021. Roy, originally from Dewsbury, settled in Ystrad Meurig in 1997 with his wife, Millicent. The couple were born, married, and lived in Yorkshire for most of their lives. However, In 1995 their Daughter tragically passed away at just 34.
Not 2 years later, the couple left everything behind and resettled in a 2 bedroom in Ystrad Meurig, Ceredigion. Likely to a much-needed change of scenery after the heart breaking events. Settling in nicely, the couple, frequented horse shows around England and Wales. Mr Halpin ran a horse carriage business, building them by hand. When clearing Mr Halpin’s property, Blanchards found numerous medals, trophies and other trinkets related to their equestrian ventures. Sadly, Millicent passed away in 2001, leaving Roy alone for his remaining 20 years until he passed in 2021 at the age of 86.
Due to his wife and only child passing before him, Roy had no one close to leave his estate to. He did not write a Will, consequently leaving his estate in our hands to find his closest relatives.
Blanchards had to follow Mr Halpin’s line up in order to find relatives. If Mr Halpin had any other children or his wife was still alive they would be set to inherit. Because this was not the case we had to follow up to Mr Halpin’s parents in order to find cousins (as he had no siblings either). The cousins were located back in Dewsbury, and was aware of their cousin Roy, but was not particularly close to him, not seeing him for many years. There was three beneficiaries in total, 2 cousins and a Son to another cousin who also passed away prior to Roy Halpin. In that instance the line of entitlement passes down to their children. If you wish to learn more about beneficiary entitlement please click here: https://blanchardsltd.co.uk/when-is-a-relative-not-an-heir/
The Halpin’s estate was comprised of 2 plots of land. A beautiful and sizeable 2 bedroom house situated deep in the countryside, and plot of land across the road complete with a stable. Internally the house hadn’t seen much love in a number of years. We sadly see this all too often in our industry. A lonely person who may find it too difficult to tidy or fix broken aspects of their house on their own with their older age. This in turn can also lead to hoarding which was the case here, though only mild. Instances like this can cause the property to go to ruin. Luckily, in this case all damage and untidiness was only cosmetic, and the structure and property post clearance was of a high quality.
A full house clearance was completed, removing all possessions and keeping those of value to be sold or inherited by the beneficiaries. This included a pair beautiful horse carriages likely used for their shows and an assortment of other equestrian items.
Settling the estate
The land, property and other high value items went to auction so money could be evenly split among the beneficiaries. Auction is the preferred method for selling properties in our industry so assets can be sold fast and no parties are waiting for lengthy periods of time for their money. Moreover, the properties we deal with are very often not fit for the open market. Despite being a lovely home, the property only sold for £144,000 (valued at £170,000). This is likely due to its remoteness. The land adjacent was sold separately for £15,000. Combined, the estate was worth over £160,000 including other valuable belonging and was split evenly among the three estranged beneficiaries.