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Letter of administration Holliday

Fri Oct 25, 2019 8:37 pm

I have just received a copy of the letters of administration for a Robert Holliday who died intestate 12 June 1875. From this I have two questions:

1/Assets are valued at under £5000. Having seen other wills I assume there is / was some kind of banding system, i.e if they were valued at less than £5000 what can I suppose they were valued at more than? Or could it be literally anything between 0 and 5000?

2/ Can I read anything into the following paragraph, after it is stated that letters of administration were granted to one of his sons.

"Isabella Holiday, the lawful widow and relict of the said deceased having renounced the letters of administration of his personal estate and effects."

Does this mean she has just refused to administer the estate?
Robert and Isabella had married only 6 weeks prior to his death (he being 62 and her 25) and it has been assumed that she may have married him for financial gain. Something that can never be known obviously but surely this would seem less likely if she declined to administer his estate after death?

Thank you for any light you can shed on these queries

Re: Letter of administration Holliday

Sat Oct 26, 2019 6:14 am

Re 2: The distribution of the estate of someone who died without leaving a will has to strictly follow the Laws of Intestacy for that time and place. So the administrator cannot influence who gets what.

I've never seen this written down - others might have - but presumably there is a hierarchy written down about who should have the role of being the administrator. However, it appears that those on the list could decline (as a nominated executor of a will can decline today). Since distributing an estate is an onerous task, she may have thought that she'd let someone else do it - and as stated above - the outcome shouldn't change.

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Re: Letter of administration Holliday

Sat Oct 26, 2019 6:32 am

Re 1 and "under £5000"
An interesting question. I have seen a number of estates described like that and never found any rules. Any rules may differ over time, as well.

My gut feeling is that it represents a top estimate, though in some dioceses under the earlier Church courts system, there was at least one band involved because an estate worth less than £25 in the Diocese of Chester could have its probate granted locally rather than going to Chester.

In your case, if we think it through, at the point of granting Administration, it looks like nobody has had the authority to go through the books of the deceased to be able to produce an informed total, so a best guess estimate is all that is known at this point. But my *feeling* is that this is an estimate and not a band - I don't know what purpose banding might serve, unless Estate Duty went in bands????

Grateful for any comments on the Estate Duty angle.

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Re: Letter of administration Holliday

Sat Oct 26, 2019 4:17 pm

Under £5000, but £4000 plus.

Other suggestions welcome!

Re: Letter of administration Holliday

Mon Nov 04, 2019 10:55 pm

Thank you both.

Perhaps in this case Isabella felt that Robert's son was best placed to administer the estate and as I suspect there was land as well as personal possessions the value may have simply been a best guess by either herself or the children at the time. My banding query was because from the indexes I have seen values seem to either be rounded up to figures under:
£50 - £450 (estate valued in whole hundreds or 50s)
£500 - £1500 (estate valued in whole hundreds)
£2000 upwards (estate valued in whole thousands)
If that makes sense. I have always wondered why the value of the estate was required to be displayed in the first place. But the suggestion regarding estate duty makes sense, maybe banding would allow ease of calculation. I did find a wikipedia link on rates of duty, which hadn't occurred to me, so thank you for that
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_o ... ed_Kingdom

In any case when Isabella died she left a "personal estate under £1500" so obviously inherited at least some of her husbands money, although as I understand it under the intestacy rules at the time any land Robert had at the time of his death would have passed to his eldest son. When her will arrives I hope it may enlighten me further.
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