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Death in England of a British person; probate in Australia?

Discussion in 'Australia' started by Vio, Apr 14, 2020.

  1. Vio

    Vio LostCousins Member

    If this is in the wrong section, please advise and I'll move it (if I can!).

    I'm a bit confused about two British people I've found who were buried in England but probate is in England and is listed in the search results as in Australia. Perhaps the wrong people, but it does says death in England for one of them.

    This is the Butler family in Bristol, of Butler tar works associated with Brunel. The Butlers were seriously wealthy judging by their effects listed in UK probate info online. They all travelled a lot, appearing in search results for Canada, Africa and elsewhere, but not Australia.

    I have Samuel Butler born 1855 Clifton, Bristol, England who had a masters certificate - he had a private yacht and used to race. He married Marion Anderson Cochran in 1887, but she was petitioning for divorce in 1904, although when he died in 1906 she was still listed as Mrs Butler, widow, in the obit. In the probate search for the UK, it said that Samuel Butler died in Norway on 17th July 1906 at Vebling Vaes Romsdaal Fjord. His brother Joseph Beaumont Butler and Charles Haward Bird (listed as chemical manufacturers), and Tom Cochran (engineer) were the executors of the will, with probate in Nov 1906. Why then is there also a probate record for Victoria, Australia turning up in search results? They state death in England but I don't have a subscription to access details. Would he have invested in land or industry in Australia and therefore have a different will there?

    Also Joseph Beaumont Butler born 16 Sep 1857 Clifton, Bristol, England. He was in the Gloucesters, and became Lord Lieutenant of Somerset. died 30 Apr 1935, probate 8 July 1935 in Bristol. His address at death was The Grove, Stoke Bishop, Bristol. Probate to Minnie Sophia Butler widow, Charles Henry Clark ret'd school inspector, Edwin Shellard company director, Francis Meredith Caporn solicitor. Effects £72,492 9s 11d. The search results on Ancestry also come up with an entry in
    New South Wales, Australia, Index to Deceased Estate Files, 1859-1958

    Hope someone can explain please?

    Last edited: Apr 14, 2020
  2. Vio

    Vio LostCousins Member

    Update - just found Joseph Beaumont Butler on a passenger list to Fremantle, Australia in 1932. And viewed the deceased estate file, which doesn't tell me much other than he was Lt Colonel H M Territorial Forces. Date of death 30th April 1935. Date of grant (presumably of probate?) 26 Aug 1926. Admininstrator G B Somerville, and then some sums:
    Somerville + Furlonger 3 2/3 % full rate on £1332 = £48 6s 10d
    Lismore % half rate on [this looks like Dec 123] = £25 17s 9d
    Dowling, Tayler & Co 28/8 £22 19s 1d


    And Samuel Butler's entry for Victoria, Australia is his will in full. Along with another entry referring to probate granted in England, and stating 'possessed no real estate in Victoria, but left personal possessions of no greater value than £2193.' And stating that the person writing this was the proctor of those given probate in England.

    There's also another probate entry in the Scottish records, referring to the English probate.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2020
  3. Vio

    Vio LostCousins Member

    Is this usual to have multiple entries regarding probate?
  4. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Superstar

    If someone has property in more than one country, as here, then yes. Can add more on this later when I have more time, if you like.
  5. Vio

    Vio LostCousins Member

    Yes please, I would be interested, although it does all seem to refer back to one probate in England. When you have time, of course. Thanks very much for the offer of explaining it.
  6. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Superstar

    Although some of the finer details have changed, in its basics obtaining probate today is much the same as in 1906 and 1935.

    For a person domiciled in England & Wales, probate would normally be obtained there. In the UK a will usually covers a person's estate worldwide, and today at least, inheritance tax is payable (subject to allowances) on all property worldwide. Probate authorises executors and administrators to access and administer the deceased's estate.

    Different countries have different rules governing probate of goods held there, and executors and administrators will need the authority from that country to access and administer property held in that country. How this is done depends on which country it is, and often, what type of assets and of what value.

    Generally, in order to access a deceased's property in a different jurisdiction you need to provide a specially sealed and signed copy of the will and grant of probate. Scotland and England & Wales have long accepted this as sufficient authority from the other, but with some countries a further grant of probate may need to be obtained locally.

    Either way it is possible that there will be some reference or paperwork in each country where the deceased had property, but what that may be will vary.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2020
  7. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Superstar

    Just to clarify this - in some cases, generally with moveable property I think, an English grant will be sufficient in Scotland (and vice versa), but sometimes the grant needs to be sealed by the Scottish probate office first. As far as I know it isn't ever necessary to obtain an additional grant in Scotland if probate has already been obtained in England & Wales.

    Something similar may well also apply in some other countries, but which other countries may be different now from the early 20th century.

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