As a professional deputy in Court of Protection, making provision to establish where your client’s funds will be distributed when they die is of course a duty of care. There may be an existing will that is outdated, or they may require an expression of wishes outside of the default intestacy law.

At Anglia Research, we identify P’s next of kin and provide a verified family tree with contact details of the intestate beneficiaries. Any information provided by the family must be authenticated as not all the facts may have been revealed. Relying on family testimony can sometimes be flawed.


Statutory Will Application

A family tree is required by the Court for a Statutory Will application and supplementing this with a genealogical report shows the full extent of the family. Our expert investigations start with a marriage search for your client and any possible births from this. It is not always straight forward though. Illegitimate children cannot be researched unless it is a female client with an uncommon surname.

The mother’s maiden name is a prerequisite for the registration of births it is therefore nearly impossible to find a birth out of wedlock for a male client unless the mother’s surname is known. The exception to this would be a successful probate search for a will that may refer to a child.


Finding Family – a case study

We recently found a half-brother of a lady who at age 82 said she had no relatives.  Unbeknown to her she had been adopted by her birth mother and her mother’s new husband when she was nearly 4 years old.  As an adoptee, she is considered a full-blood relative of the adoptive parents. A search to find any prior or further marriages for both her adoptive parents was crucial to investigate if there were any siblings of the half-blood.

Following up on the maternal line a remarriage just 4 years after the adoption uncovered her mother’s birth and death.  The client was the informant on her mother’s 2012 death certificate, presumably before she lost capacity, but her mother had married yet again.

There was no trace of this marriage in the General Register Office records, and her mother had now been known by four different surnames. A trawl of the birth records with her maiden name did not show any likely births of further children.

For the paternal line, although the father’s name was not an overly popular one, there was no middle name, and his age range could have potentially spanned over 50 years. The 1939 register proved invaluable as a man with a similar occupation as described on the adoption papers but living in another part of the UK, was located. Following up on this lead found his death at age 60 with a widow as the informant.


International Research

This further marriage was not found in the English records either, but his widow’s later death identified a son.  He could just be his mother’s child or adopted in also? As neither his birth nor a marriage for his parents was located, we widened the geographic field.

The discovery of a marriage in Germany and a birth successfully found the half-blood sibling of the client and the sole beneficiary to the estate following the laws of intestacy.

The intricacies of probate genealogical searches can be incredibly involved. Sometimes it is more of a process of elimination with documentary evidence being found to rule out alternative explanations.

Heartwarming conclusions do ensue from cases such as an unknown niece and nephew of P being identified with speed enabling them to visit P before she passed away as her deputy believed this to be in her best interest.

Being mindful of the sensitive nature of Statutory Will research, we conduct our investigations confidentially, without contacting any of the relevant parties unless prior consent is agreed with the deputy.


How we can help

Our dedicated team of professional paralegals provide genealogical research and tracing services to law firms and are always happy to discuss your specific requirements.

Contact us now – or call on 0800 033 4034.

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Anglia Research and Anglia Research Services are trading names of Anglia Research Services Limited, a company registered in England and Wales: no. 05405509

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