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Probate documents where there's no will

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date

Vicki

Vicki Report 11 Mar 2013 23:08

Please can anyone advise me? I have 2 deaths, of my GFather & my GGFather (died 1952 and 1946 respectively) neither of whom left any will.

I know the date of probate for both of them, but is it worth sending for and paying for copies of the Probate documents only?

I have sent for wills for other relatives & most of them were really brilliant, but what do you actually get when you ask for 'Probate' documents?

Thanks, Vicki

Andrew

Andrew Report 11 Mar 2013 23:21

When there is no will, the probate (Letters of Administration?) only authorises someone to look after the estate. The distribution is then governed by law as to who gets what.

https://www.gov.uk/wills-probate-inheritance/if-the-person-didnt-leave-a-will

Andy

Vicki

Vicki Report 11 Mar 2013 23:42

Thanks Andy - I sort of knew that really, but I was hoping I might see some secret details, or some fascinating information!!!!

Do the letters of administration contain any details about property or personal possessions?

Cheers & thanks

Vicki

Andrew

Andrew Report 12 Mar 2013 00:13

If memory serves (and its been along time since I've seen one) it states the names and addresses of the people concerned and the approx value of the estate.

Andy

InspectorGreenPen

InspectorGreenPen Report 12 Mar 2013 11:50

No will then there will be no probate.

I have the LOA for my Dad and it shows the names and addresses of the deceased and the administrator, plus the gross and net values of the estate for Inland Revenue purposes.

If the value of the estate was relatively small, (around £5k-10k in today's values) and if there was no property involved they there may not even have been letters of administration.

lancashireAnn

lancashireAnn Report 12 Mar 2013 13:30

Just to extend a bit more on what has been said.

Over a certain amount if there was no will 'letters of administration' have to be applied for. These are listed in the probate index but instead of the words 'proved at....' it says 'letters of administration granted to....'

That in itself my give some clues for you but it is also (though not as likely) that you can find extra information if you send for them. I do have one where an extra person and their address was on there which proved that it was exactly the right relative.

It depends whether you think it is worth spending the £6.

DazedConfused

DazedConfused Report 12 Mar 2013 15:03

I am sitting here looking at a letter of probate issued 1927 -the wording is this:-

Be it know that ..............of ...............died on the 23 January 1927 intestate 'a bachelor'
and be it further known that at the date hereunder written Letters of Administration of all the Estate whuch by law devolves to and vests in the personal respresentative of the said intestate were granted by His Majesty's High Court of Justice at the District Probate Registry thereof at (area name) to

and after to is the name and address of deceased next of kin (in this case his father) as him being to only person entitled to the estate.

Hope this helps. Letter of probate will give no family secrets away and the person granted control of the estate under such terms then has to decide how the estate is 'shared out'.

Vicki

Vicki Report 12 Mar 2013 23:40

Thanks PigletsPal, LancashireAnn, igp and Andrew for your helpful replies.

Yesterday I was going through all my odd notes on bits of paper, shorthand pads, etc & just saving all the 'vital' bits which I noted down.

Naturally being so concise and careful I didn' write down which Probate list on which site or which date I found this, but I have:

Probate only - JJO - date of death 05.05.1952 - probate London 03.10.1957 to SAVO & daughter A & daughter B (being married women) - Effects £10729.11s.3d

and

Probate only - JO - date of death 10.02.1946 - probate London 18.10.1946 to JJO, engineer & SAVO - Effects £6,889.5s.5d.

(JO was father to JJO). After death of JJO, (my g.father), there was a huge family rift over business affairs, and his widow kept proceeds of everything. She died 1983 & she made no will either. Property, land and possessions were all sold, so 7 grandchildren did get a share of all this, but not until 1983/4 and then only because the one remaining daughter decided to divide proceeds a certain way (so she said). I thought it had been divided according to inheritance law!

But, like we said, if there is no will, nobody has actually been named as an inheritor or beneficiary, so it must have been my auntie's kindness that got us all some dosh.

Vicki

Vicki Report 12 Mar 2013 23:55

Andy - have just re-read whole post & I realise what you said: 'The distribution is then governed by law as to who gets what.'

I just find it interesting that me and my 3 siblings were told by my auntie, that she had decided to let us 4 have the 1/2 share which would have gone to Daughter A (our Mother) had she lived. She said she thought it only fair although she did say, she didn't really have to.

Under inheritance law, this works out just the same, if our mother died young, her share would devolve to her surviving children. Interesting!!!

Cheers and thanks
Vicki

lancashireAnn

lancashireAnn Report 13 Mar 2013 00:09

Vicky

re-reading the probate examples you give for JO & JJO

both of them say 'probate London ' which surely means there WAS a will, otherwise it would have said 'Administration to'

actually found the examples you give (on ancestry). The 1946 one says 'probate' the 1952 one says administration if I have the right ones

Vicki

Vicki Report 13 Mar 2013 12:31

lancashireAnn - thank you so much for that. I have a mthly sub to ancestry so will check this out - and hopefully track down JO's will.

Even though this happened so long ago it's strange how you still 'feel' things about your family after so long! You can never know enough about them.

You have really helped me.

Thanks, Vicki