Saturday, July 25, 2015

World War I Probate

Kimberly Wallis gave me a copy of a grant of probate from the United Kingdom dated October 28th, 1914. The process for obtaining a grant of probate appears to have been very efficient in those days, as the deceased had died just 23 days earlier, on October 5, 1914.

What was most striking about the grant was the page stapled to it, which read:

This Grant is made upon the condition that no portion of the assets shall be distributed or paid during the War to any beneficiary or creditor who is a German or Austro-Hungarian subject wherever resident, or to any one on his behalf, or to or on behalf of any person resident in Germany or Austria-Hungary, of whatever nationality, without the express sanction of the Crown, acting through the Treasury; and if any distribution or payment is made contrary to this condition the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration will be forthwith revoked.

Upon an application to the Solicitor to the Treasury there will be no difficulty in proper cases in obtaining the sanction of the Treasury to the payment of a moderate sum out of assets to beneficiary or creditors who are German or Austro-Hungarian subjects resident in this country at the commencement of the War and during the War.

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