My Family History

Elizabeth Laver’s estate

Yesterday, in my Trove Tuesday post, I featured the article where Elizabeth Laver claimed that the £594 she had given to her son-in-law Charles William Collis was a loan, not a gift.  Since Elizabeth had died only a month after the article, I wondered what effect this would have had on her estate, so I went looking on the Public Record Office Victoria website for her probate file on the Index to Wills, Probate and Administration Records 1841-2013.

After selecting Family name Laver, Given name Elizabeth, the first entry appeared to be for my Elizabeth.

Elizabeth Laver probate

Since the probate files are available for download direct from the website, I then downloaded the three files. The following is a summary of the information in these files.

Elizabeth wrote her will on 26th day of August 1897.  This will appointed William Brown, solicitor, her son Thomas Laver, and her daughter Jane Porter as executors.  In the will, she gave her son Thomas her home and the furniture and household effects.  He was also to receive 2/3 of the residuary of her estate, and her daughter Jane was to receive 1/3 of the residuary of her estate.   Daughter Louisa was not mentioned.

Elizabeth’s probate files shows:

Assets £714 3 7

Real estate £250

Furniture £10

Money on deposit £350

Interest £7 17

Debts due to estate* £96 5 7

Liabilities £195 10

Balance £518 13 7

* Debt due by Charles William Collis of Market street St Kilda Builder under a judgment of the Supreme Court dated 10th August 1897 in an actin Nod 1897 No 574 wherein deceased was plaintiff and the said Charles William Collis was defendant whereby the said deceased recovered the sum of £594 and costs which said costs with other costs in the action payable by the defendant have been taxed and allowed at £94 6 4. Execution has been issued to enforce the judgment and the interest of the defendant in certain Real Estate has been sold realising the net amount of £46 5 7. The said judgment is valued at £50 over and above the amount in all £96 5 7

It would appear that Elizabeth knew she was never going to get this money back from Charles, and so she cut Louisa out of her will.

In the article, the loan was said to be one third of the total amount that Elizabeth was worth. When it came to administrating her estate, once the liabilities were taken into account, this was actually more than half of her residuary estate.

By the fourth of March 1899, her assets were

11 October 1897 Amount received from Sheriff proceeds of sale under Judgment obtained against one C. W. Collis £52 18 11

25 October Amount received from Salvation Army being amount of Deposit and Interest £357 17 6

Total £410 16 5


Oct 27 1897 Dr. McAdam – Professional attendance £7 0 0

29 Mrs. Jane Porter – Money lent £13 10 0

Executors Commission £18 0 0

Samuel McCulloch for Law Costs and moneys expended by him £243 13 2

Thomas Laver, his 2/3rd interest in residuary estate £82 8 10

Mrs Jane Porter her 1/3rd interest in residuary estate £41 4 5

Total £410 16 5

This also mentioned that in accordance with her will, her home in Bath Street, plus all the household effects, had been transferred to her son Thomas.

It seems to me sad that Jane, who had lent money to her mother, was the one who received the least amount from her mother’s estate. Perhaps Elizabeth left most of her estate to Thomas, as she no longer trusted either of her sons-in-law.

Elizabeth did have a fourth child, William, but he is not mentioned at all because he died in 1876.