By Legal Futures’ Associate Finders International
For many years, we at Finders International have conducted will searches in the UK, looking for wills that may have been drawn up in different counties at widely different points in the testator’s life, so that solicitors can begin the distribution of an estate safe in the knowledge no stone has been left unturned.
What does this process look like and where might it apply? Here are two case study examples at the opposite end of the spectrum:
- An estate was thought to be intestate; but an old will has been found by the firm that went into the deceased’s house to clear it. Finders International carries out a will search to allay the concern that a later will might exist, disinheriting the current supposed beneficiaries. The search complete, one further will was found held by a local firm, but as it predated the will found on the property, it was therefore invalid.
- No will has been found by the family but they are convinced one exists. As one family member puts it, “My father always told me he would leave everything to me and my children as we visited him at the end of his life, when no one else did.” A will search is carried out to satisfy the estate and family that everything has been done to try to find one.
A Finders International search is thorough. We don’t rely on emails and we research professional bodies (solicitors and will writers) located in a wide area around the deceased’s address. Our checks also cover the Principal Probate Registry and will writers’ bodies. The estate can then use our report to apply for missing will insurance through Finders International, a step we recommend to ensure total comfort when proceeding with the estate distribution.
Finders International’s founder and CEO Danny Curran said: “Estate administrators bear a heavy responsibility, ensuring the estate goes to the right people in cases where someone has died intestate. A routine search for wills helps estate administrators fulfil that duty.
“It’s about managing risk, mitigating the chance of nasty surprises and mistakes in estate administration.”
To find out more about Finders International’s Will search service, please contact us for a quotation tailored to your needs.