How murder affects inheritance rules

Posted in For Solicitors

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Recently one of our case managers was searching through historic records when she stumbled upon a probate entry for Frederick Walter Stephen West, better known as the infamous serial killer Fred West who died in January 1995. In this article, legal researcher Rosie Kelly, fresh from success in her CILEx criminal law examinations, looks at the rules of inheritance when a murder has been committed and how these have evolved in recent years.

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How can something as big as a house be missed from someone’s estate?

Posted in Case Histories, For Relatives, For Solicitors

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According to the most recent government statistics, there are currently over 200,000 long-term empty homes in England alone. Given that ‘long term’ is defined as over six months, it’s likely that many of these buildings are empty for quite mundane reasons, perhaps because they are awaiting new tenants or a sale. However, a small number of long-term empty homes fall derelict simply because their owner has died and – whether or not they made a will – for some reason the property has not been included in their estate. In this article, Chris Ferry discusses a case that shows how easily this can happen and the problems that arise when it does.

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A genealogist of distinction

Posted in For Family Historians, For Relatives

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A probate researcher by profession, and a passionate family and local historian in her free time, case manager Terry Bridger was already at the forefront of her chosen field. But – never one to rest on her laurels – three years ago she enrolled for a masters degree in genealogical, palaeographic and heraldic studies at the University of Strathclyde. In this article she explains why she gladly embraced such a huge commitment.

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When families fall apart

Posted in Case Histories, For Family Historians, For Relatives

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When children are separated from their birth parents and siblings at a very early age, questions remain – fundamental, painful questions such as “what happened?” and “why me?” As the decades pass, these become questions that only a brother or sister can answer. In this article, regional head Mike Lowe reports on a case where a brother and sister were reunited after more than 50 years and unanswered questions finally found a resolution.

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Reclaim the records – a major new resource for genealogical research in the USA

Posted in For Family Historians

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If you regularly conduct genealogical research in the USA, at some point you will run into an impenetrable web of red tape: state and government agencies will tell you that records are unavailable to the public or only available if you visit them on site. In this article, case manager Terry Bridger reports on a not-for-profit group that is determined to put US public records back in the public domain.

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