Belfast Will sealed London

Discussion in 'Wills & Probate' started by Annette J W, Sep 22, 2021.

  1. Annette J W

    Annette J W New Member

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    Having found the probate record of an ancestor who died in Belfast, I sent off for a copy of the Will, only to find that it waas 'sealed' in London. How and why might this have happened and is it completely impossible to see a copy of the Will?
     
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  2. PeterG

    PeterG Well-Known Member

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    If the estate included property in England, the grant would have to be sealed (ie legally approved) in London. A bank (say) in England wouldn't be able to act on a grant issued in NI unless it had been sealed in London.

    I've never tried but I would have thought that you could get a copy of the will from the Principal Registry in Belfast.
     
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  3. Annette J W

    Annette J W New Member

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    Thank you, Peter G. I'll certainly try the direct approach to Belfast.
     
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  4. PeterG

    PeterG Well-Known Member

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    How to Contact the Probate Office
    Tel: Belfast - 0300 200 7812 Londonderry - 0300 200 7812
    Email: probate@courtsni.gov.uk
     
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  5. patten-walsh

    patten-walsh Well-Known Member

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  6. Annette J W

    Annette J W New Member

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    • Thank you Patten-Walsh. Just tried that. It didn't give information I didn't already have, but I noted that the 'reseal date' was empty. Can anyone tell me what that means please? On the Gov.uk site, it's noted as 'sealed London' in December 1959 so now i'm doubly confused!
     
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  7. PeterG

    PeterG Well-Known Member

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    Can anyone tell me what that means please?

    I'm wondering why you think it shouldn't be empty? Why would it need to be resealed in Belfast?
     
  8. Annette J W

    Annette J W New Member

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    I don't understand why it was 'sealed' in London, but not in Belfast. I realise that the London connection was because she had property in England. Under what circumstances would the Will have been sealed or resealed in Belfast?
     
  9. arthurk

    arthurk Well-Known Member

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    Sealing is the process where a will and probate in one jurisdiction is accepted as valid and entered in the records in another. So a sealing in Belfast would only occur if there had already been a probate in England and Wales, for example. And in your case, it sounds as though there was a probate in Northern Ireland followed by a sealing in London.

    I'm not sure about resealing, as it's a term I haven't come across before.
     
  10. PeterG

    PeterG Well-Known Member

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    Sealing is impressing the document with the official stamp (seal) of the court. The original issue of the grant in Belfast means that the grant was sealed. The grant would be valueless otherwise. The sealing in London was to make the grant valid in England and Wales.

    As I understand it, resealing would occur if there was some substantial change in the details (eg change of executor).

    Financial institutions that an executor might have to deal with most often require a sealed copy of the grant (which has to be paid for). Today, it would be rare to get away with a photocopy.
     
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