Effective Genealogical Research
Established in 1991, Probate Genealogists Payton & Tate have been identifying and locating missing and unknown beneficiaries worldwide, for more than a quarter of a century
“Research Experience Matters”
Probate Genealogists (sometimes called “Forensic Genealogists”) exist to resolve estate matters involving missing or unknown beneficiaries and next-of-kin. Probate Genealogy combines the research skills of the genealogist; some aspects of private investigation; and an expert knowledge of estate succession and distribution law.
The cases undertaken can range from the location of a beneficiary named in a Will, who has since moved, to the reversion of a life interest in a trust fund, or the resolution of a complex intestacy, involving perhaps more than a hundred individual heirs, in many different countries. Within this range, there fall many variations, each as unique as the individual families involved. Similarly, the values of the estates and the individual entitlements can range from tens to hundreds of thousands of pounds.
The Probate Genealogist’s duties do not end with the location of the heirs. There is no point in simply finding or not finding people. The Administrator of the estate must be put into a position where the shares due to the beneficiaries can be calculated, and the estate safely distributed to the kin. This end can only be achieved once the known heirs are proved to be correct, the full extent of the families involved is known, and the possibility of a claim from any remaining missing, untraceable or unknown heirs, is covered by an insurance indemnity. It is these further stages that often call for the greatest amount of time and skill, in their resolution
Estate Problems We Can Assist With
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Although founded in 1991, Payton & Tate’s origins stem from June 1921 when, following his retirement from the Indian Army, Lieutenant Colonel Alfred Aquilla Smith established “The Advisory Agency”, at 8 Lower Regent Street, London. Using his past contacts in the intelligence branches of the army, he undertook various investigative assignments. However, by July of 1922, he was working with the “Transatlantic Estates and Credit Company” of Portland, Oregon, investigating intestate estates where the beneficiaries were unknown.
In 1924, the offices were moved to Kings Bench Walk, in the Temple, where they remained until the 1940’s, when the move was made to Knightsbridge. Alfred Smith died in 1930, following which the business was taken over by his son, Charles Aquilla Vincent Smith who ran the firm, from then named “Alfred A Smith & Son”, until his death.
The transfer of the business to the then existing management team of Charles Payton (since retired from the firm) and John Tate, brought a change in direction; expanding in-house research capabilities and extending the number and variety of services offered to our professional clients.
That continuing adaptation and integration of information technology and new research methods and resources continues today, albeit grounded on the knowledge and experience gained over the years.
A Few of Our Past Cases
£1,000,000+ Insurance Indemnities
The Lost World War II Airman
Having been initially instructed to locate the kin of an intestate – some months after having done so, it was a surprise to learn that a will had suddenly ‘turned-up’.
New Barn Road