Ernestine was trying to obtain probate of her husband’s will. He was called Jack and had a personalized number plate JAK 12. (We have changed names etc for confidentiality reasons). Her problem was that Jack had left various possessions to a mate, and everything else to her. And now she and the mate couldn’t agree on who got the plate – this sounds like good material for a poem, an old-fashioned rhyming sort! Legally the question turns on categories: is it an actual tangible thing, or does it fall into the definitions of intellectual property or a chose in action?
We advised Ernestine to cut a deal with the plate-fancier because the plate wasn’t going to be worth so much that it was worth fighting over. There was also the problem of separating the plate from the car if each was going to end up in different hands. Interesting puzzles, but swiftly sorted out by a professional probate service at little expense, and another warning for those tempted by the DIY route.