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How do I enquire if my late father in law who died 1986 had a will or whether letters of administration were granted

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oracle39 | 15:47 Sun 02nd Oct 2011 | How it Works
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My mother in law died dec 2010 and probabte was granted June 2011. We have only just had an offer on the house but the solicitor says they cannot complete because the house is still in late father in law's name. Family have no recollection of any legal stuff being done back in 1986 when he died.. How can I find out if someone, maybe a solicitor applied on her behalf,for either probate or letters of administration. Surely if probate was granted they would have transfered the house to mother in law wouldn't they?
This is further complicated because solicitor said he owned freehold to a block of 10 houses (4 of which had been sold). We don't think he realised. The only thing we found was a letter confirming sale of freehold to him for £279 back in 1979, it does not specify if its just his address so we don't know anything more. The solicitor says its on the land registry as belonging to late father in law. She says we have to apply for probate again this time for him. How do we do that without any information about bank accounts, pensions etc? I cannot see how MIL would have been able to claim his pension without probate. Does this legal stuff never end??? 10 months now and we still cannot move on.

I updated an old question to include this, but then thought I should have posed it as a new one as the old one was more than 3 months old.

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Print and complete this form: http://hmctsformfinde...r/forms/pa1s_0405.pdf Send it with a cheque or postal order for £6 (payable to 'HMCTS') to The Postal Searches and Copies Department, Leeds District Probate Registry, York House, York Place, Leeds LS1 2BA If probate was granted, you'll receive a copy of the grant (including the will). If probate...
22:50 Sun 02nd Oct 2011
Surely your solicitor should be advising you about this? - what are you paying him for?
Your solicitor should apply to the probate office to see if anything is registeredf or your father in law when he died. Executors for my MIL have just done this for my father in law to check whether his nil rate band for IH could be transferred and they got the answer within a couple of weeks.
There's a telephone number at the bottom of this page. I called it when my mother died and they were very helpful.

http://www.justice.go...rts/probate/about.htm
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boxtops, yes I thought the solicitor should have advised, but maybe they only do conveyancing. When they rang they just said we needed to get probate for the father in law. We haven't a clue where to begin since it was so long ago that he died.
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ubasses, how do you know which probate office to ask at. Do all the old ones just end up at a central office?
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SeajayPea That web page looks really useful, thank you so much I'll give it a go. At least I can find out if it has been already done. Not sure where to start if it hasn't been done though. Have to cross that bridge when I come to it.
<<I cannot see how MIL would have been able to claim his pension without probate.>>

You don't need probate for pensions - normally just the death certificate and maybe proof of your own ID and relationship.

If probate hasn't been done, you are in real difficulty given the lack of records. You probably need to start by seeking probate office advice and then if necessary a specialist solicitor.
You usually use the probate office relating to the county in which the person died.

Are you the executor of your Mother in Laws Will, because if not this is what they should be doing for you.
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my husband is an executor of MIL's estate. This has all come to light whilst trying to sell the house. dzug2 wouldn't she have needed probate for anything then?
Not necessarily - it depends what the assets were.

Banks, etc, do not usually insist on probate for small amounts, so if there were only a few small bank accounts there would only have been the property to consider. No one prompts you about this until it's time to sell if you forget or neglect to do it.

With luck you will find that someone DID get probate though from what you say it sounds unlikely - your conveyancing solicitor would surely have been capable of establishing this even if not of doing anything about it.
If your faher in law owns the remaining 6 houses in the block of 10, who lives in them and what has happened to the income from them. Did he leave a Will leaving everything to his wife so she may have thought that probate would not be required.
Print and complete this form:
http://hmctsformfinde...r/forms/pa1s_0405.pdf
Send it with a cheque or postal order for £6 (payable to 'HMCTS') to
The Postal Searches and Copies Department, Leeds District Probate Registry, York House, York Place, Leeds LS1 2BA

If probate was granted, you'll receive a copy of the grant (including the will). If probate was never applied for, you'll be informed of that fact.

Chris
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I just wanted to let you know, I went up to First Avenue and searched myself, and I found what I needed. A solicitors had acted for MIL so I am more than a bit miffed that they didn't transfer house and such into MIL's name, isn't that just incompetence? As far as we can tell, there have never been any payments made by the leaseholders, and how any of the houses were ever sold without there being paper work for the freehold is beyond me. I personally feel like the in laws were mugged.
Added to this, I was a bit cross that the FIL had died intestate, especially after his own parent's deaths caused him a good deal aggravation, in that the solicitor (same one throughout)had to get grant of probate for one deceased parent then to the other before he could sell their house. After all that you would think MIL & FIL would have made Wills so their own children wouldn't have to go through it.Some people never learn from these experiences do they?
We have had nothing but hurdle after hurdle, I'm just waiting for the next one to pop up :(
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Its really useful information from Buenchico. But if you have the time, don't be afraid to go look for yourself, it takes the agony out of waiting. If you do go, don't just check the computers for Wills, I did that first but couldn't find anything. Look in the ledgers starting from the year of death, there is no time limit to apply for probate. Thanks everyone for their help and suggestions on here.

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