• December 9, 2023
 The Antique Hoarder: Blanchards Case Of The Month

The Antique Hoarder: Blanchards Case Of The Month

Frequently, when we visit hoarder residences, we encounter piles upon piles of refuse. Although there is a saying that “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure”, it’s difficult for us to imagine anyone cherishing these items. However, it is a rare occasion for these properties to contain genuine treasures, by any standard. This case is one such example.


Blanchards received this case referral from the bona vacantia, which is the typical way we acquire our cases, ranging from small to large in value. In this instance, the deceased owned property in Canvey Island, Essex, and at the age of 83, he passed away without a Will, having been preceded in death by his wife and son. It appears to be a common trend for widows, widowers, and those who have lost their families to pass away intestate, meaning without a will. Our intestate led a relatively uneventful life aside from his passion for travel, which led him to collect souvenirs and artifacts from far-flung corners of the globe, amassing a significant collection of antiques, particularly from Asia, South America, and Europe.

Property Visit

After contacting relatives, Blanchards and PPS entered the property to begin our initial clearing phase. This involves gaining access to the property to search for any possible will and securing the property to ensure it remains in good condition. The properties we visit can be in deplorable condition, often serving as hoarder houses with heaps of rubbish. However, this intestate was hoarding something entirely different. Upon stepping into his house, it felt like entering a museum of world history. Every room was packed with antiques from all over the world, including intricately carved African masks, delicate Chinese porcelain, Persian rugs, and European paintings. Our intestate had amassed an impressive array of items, with the centrepiece being an antique great grandfather clock that could constitute a significant portion of the estate on its own.


The recipients of the antiques had a unique familial connection as well. These beneficiaries happened to be both half-siblings and nieces and nephews of the intestate. This unusual situation arose because our intestate was adopted by his grandfather, while his half-siblings were not. After his mother’s passing, his father chose not to care for the child, leaving his upbringing to the grandparents. The father later remarried and had children with his new wife. Due to the adoption, these children are both nieces and nephews and half-siblings. They were not particularly close to their brother and only learned of his passing through our agents’ communication.

Next Steps

Blanchard’s are currently actively managing the case and anticipate the full estate to be distributed in approximately a year. Handling estates is a time-consuming process, and estates with numerous high-value assets and properties can take even longer. We will be auctioning off many of the antiques from the property and are eager to see how much they can contribute to the already substantial estate.

This article was submitted to be published by Blanchards Inheritance as part of their advertising agreement with Today’s Wills and Probate. The views expressed in this article are those of the submitter and not those of Today’s Wills and Probate.



Blanchards are a firm of probate. We specialise in locating missing heirs and beneficiaries of Estates. As well as specialising in ‘people finding’ we also locate properties, funds and assets, both within the UK and internationally. We provide a fast and efficient service to our clients within the legal sector, it is paramount to us as a business that the experience when seeking out our services is always excellent. We aim to offer fast, efficient solutions to any issue our clients may have. Our strong relationships within the legal sector have come from our ability to do the work required to the highest standard for the best price. We have built strong foundations with legal professionals up and down the country. Our attention to detail will not be beaten, due to our more intimate approach our clients within the legal sector know that they will have a researcher assigned to their case that will be able to offer the solution they need. As well as our dealings within the legal sector, we also work closely with the public sector, assisting with tracing next of kin for people who have passed away intestate.

Key Services

Locate missing beneficiaries Locating missing beneficiaries is our forte. It is the very heartbeat of our business, if you need to find heirs within the UK or internationally, we can help.
Probate property services Blanchards have partnered with our sister company Probate Property Services to offer a comprehensive ‘one stop shop’ from property valuation to clearance and sale, we can help.
Family tree verification A commonly requested service by clients within the legal sector is our ability to draw up and confirm family bloodlines. We offer a comprehensive family tree verification service, with a full report on heirs and entitlement.
Missing beneficiary insurance     We offer the ability to extract indemnity insurance for any missing beneficiaries, including creating comprehensive reports for the insurers.
Asset search The ability to trace assets within the UK and internationally proves to be a valuable service for legal professionals, especially when faced with dealing with a will. Prior to extracting probate, a full estate account is required, which is where our asset search proves to be invaluable.
Missing will insurance We can obtain missing will insurance on behalf of the instructing client.
Will search We offer a comprehensive will search, partnering with the national will register ensures our will searches are thorough, no stone is unturned.
Bespoke services If you have a problem and need a solution that isn’t listed we offer a free consultation with our case managers that are able to advise and put together a package for you bespokely.

Key Contact Name: Luke Jones – Operations Manager Address: 34 The Oaks, Manston Business Park, Ramsgate, CT12 5FN Tel: 01843 808037 Email: luke@blanchardsinheritance.co.uk LinkedIn Account: Luke Jones