Post by John Ashby
I have recently been contacted by no less than four probate
genealogists chasing my custom in claiming on the estate of a deceased
intestate cousin. Do any of you have experience of or opinions on such
services? Or should I try and do it myself?
Interesting! I've never actually heard of anyone I know being so
contacted, though obviously it does happen, as I've seen TV prog.s about
the people who do it; so, four at once suggests (a) that a _reasonable_
sum is involved, (b) it's probably not _that_ distant a cousin, and/or
the tracing task hasn't been that difficult.
When you say "chasing my custom", that implies they want money (fair
enough). Did they clarify whether they're after a flat fee regardless, a
flat fee on success, or a percentage?
Did they name, or give _any_ details of, the deceased?
I'd say have a go yourself, but my experience as a genealogist is of
course more of further-back researches. A good starting point is FreeBMD
(https://www.freebmd.org.uk/cgi/search.pl), but be aware that their data
has recent cut-off dates - about 198x [for births
(https://www.freebmd.org.uk/progressM.shtml#y1984), and deaths
(https://www.freebmd.org.uk/progressD.shtml#y1984)], so you won't find
the recent death - but it should enable you to go back two or three
generations then forward. (Going back - [start with yourself and] find
birth, note mother's maiden name, then find parents' marriage [look for
marriages between relevant surnames], then find _their_ birth]; lather,
rinse, repeat. Coming forward, search for births by surnames of the
married couple [mother's maiden name not available before 191x;
hopefully you won't need to go back that far].) Unless you're unlucky
(you miss a link by transcription error or other reason, or you have a
very common pair of surnames), you should end up with a fair list of
cousins; it's then a matter of finding which one has died recently. The
does have deaths (before 1957 and) 1984 to 2019.
Sounds interesting; I hope you still come to UMRA when you're rich (-:!
J. P. Gilliver. UMRA: 1960/<1985 MB++G()AL-IS-Ch++(p)***@T+H+Sh0!:`)DNAf
All's well that ends.