Wills and the genealogist

Wills represent an invaluable resource for the genealogist, as do the following similar types of document:
– Grants or bonds of administration (which confer the right to administer the estate of the deceased, usually where there was no valid will or no surviving executor; in some cases the administration is carried out with reference to a will that was not valid for minor technical reasons)
– Inquisitions post mortem (legal enquiries into the death, estate and heir of the deceased if they held royal property or tenancies; such enquiries were held whether or not the deceased left a will)
– Inventories (lists of the deceased’s property, usually compiled by the executors or by someone appointed in the will)