Searching for the rightful heirs to an estate is a competitive business, especially when the estate is detailed on the Bona Vacantia list. The Finders international team has a challenging case on their hands when they come across an illegitimate birth which could turn the findings upside down.
Searching for the rightful heirs to an estate is a competitive business, especially when the estate is detailed on the Bona Vacantia list. This is a legal department that deals with properties when someone dies without apparently leaving a will, and they appear to have no immediate heirs.
This was the case for Joyce Cole, who died in South London at the age of 89. Thankfully, the Finders team have extensive experience of searching for next of kin – and doing it quickly. It helped in this case that Joyce’s parents both had unusual surnames. Her parents, Edwin Dawber and Emily Munt, also had another daughter, Doris. Unfortunately, she died in 1988 and had no children either.
On the maternal side, we found records for Emily who was one of eight children. Emily worked in the domestic services industry, a profession with something of a reputation for illegitimate births, so the Finders team checked to see if there had been any births recorded before Emily married Edwin. Half-blood siblings would disinherit any of the wider family we found.
Senior case manager Ryan Gregory found a Grace Emily Munt, the daughter of Joyce’s Aunt Harriet. When we tried to phone her, the line was engaged, as she was on the phone to a competitor firm!
Diane Moss, a cousin twice removed, was interviewed as a potential heir. But Joyce Cole’s will was eventually found, negating all the work.
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