John Roberts (Deceased)
The Hospital had spoken to the Deceased’s friend who was listed as his next of kin, but she had not seen him in years and was not able to arrange his funeral. They believed that the Deceased had an ex-wife and children but had no further information about them. The estate value was unknown.
We were quickly able to trace the ex-wife who confirmed that they were divorced and had no children together. Although she had children of her own when they were together, the Deceased never formally adopted them so they were unentitled.
Possible Illegitimate Child
Our research faced an obstacle when we heard a rumour that the Deceased had a possible illegitimate child. However, after thoroughly questioning his family we established that any child of his would have been born outside of marriage, to a mother whose name was unknown. We could therefore concentrate on finding next of kin who were possible to trace: 5 nieces and nephews.
Illegitimate half-blood sibling
We also had to look into the matter of the Deceased’s half-sister, who was born illegitimately to his mother. Firstly, we searched the adoption indexes to confirm that she had not been adopted by John’s father David Roberts. We then spoke to her to determine whether she considered herself to be David’s daughter and would like to be involved as a potential beneficiary. As she stated this was not the case, we honoured her request to not be involved but assured the hospital that we could pass on a message if they needed to contact her.
Within a month we were able to provide the hospital with a full family tree and mailing list. As there was no obvious indication that the estate would exceed £5,000, we did not ask any of the family to retain our services. On the same day this was reported, the hospital contacted those on the mailing list and found a beneficiary who was willing to take over the funeral arrangements. The hospital were relieved of this responsibility and the Deceased was able to be given a more personalised funeral.