What happens to a person’s estate if that person was adopted? The question arose when Finders case manager Amy Moyes looked into the estate of Richard Donald Lay, who died in August 2013 without leaving a will.
Richard had been adopted as a baby in 1945 by Victor and Doris Lay. He was described as quiet and withdrawn man, who liked to keep himself to himself. Relatives attributed his reticence to the late discovery of his adoption (when he was in his 30s). Adoption, Amy explained, in terms of the legalities concerning inheritance, means that the adopted family is the family that inherits an estate when someone dies intestate.
In a further interesting twist, a specialist house clearance firm sent in to Richard’s house uncovered a passion for cars and vehicles, and a collection of original Dinky model cars still in their packaging. The collection was sold off at auction so its value could be added to Richard’s estate and the collection was sold for about £6,500, giving a final value to the estate of of approximately £300,000
As Amy researched Richard’s mum and dad, she discovered there were no heirs on his mother’s side, but that his father had five brothers and there were a number of cousins. His death brought together people who had not seen each other for many years and they expressed their gratitude for the “magical” reunion – concluding another successful case for the Finders team.