Probate records revealed

23 April 2013 will allow an insight in to the value of estates and who they were left to – for instance Lewis Carroll left £4,145, equating to about £440,000 in today's monetary terms, to his younger brother in 1898 and our former Prime Minister, Churchill left a total of £304,044, approximately £4.8 million in today's monetary terms, to his wife in 1965.

Today, once the Grant of Probate or letters of administration (if one is needed) is obtained for an estate, the Will becomes a public document and is attached to the Grant. The Grant itself reveals information on the value of the estate at the date of death.  As such, a search of the register can be a useful tool in tracing a family tree, as many Wills refer to relationships when leaving gifts to someone.

The above is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.