Finders offer innovative solutions for Bona Vacantia Estates
Industry: Legal Services
Solicitors are often faced with a tricky dilemma when someone dies with no known next of kin. Where searches by professional probate genealogists uncover previously unheard of relatives, this could complicate matters further.
International (PRUnderground) April 19th, 2011
Solicitors are often faced with a tricky dilemma when someone dies with no known next of kin. Where searches by professional probate genealogists uncover previously unheard of relatives, this could complicate matters further. Upon referral to the Treasury Solicitor’s Bona Vacantia division, where it is a Bono Vacantia estate, it is more often than not the case that the Treasury Solicitor will side with the Treasury. It is likely to adopt a protective attitude of the estate’s assets on behalf of the Crown, resulting in a waste of both the Solicitor’s time and money who has sought to find a living next of kin, warns Daniel Curran of Finders, Probate Genealogists.
In seeking to remedy this situation, Finders offer a simple but innovative solution which is QC approved, and satisfies the Treasury Solicitor’s call for estates to be referred where ‘reasonable enquiries have been made’. Free of charge and risk, Finders can undertake all investigations either to trace the entitled next of kin to a Bona Vacantia Estate or to prove there are no living and entitled relatives under intestacy law. These findings are then reported so the appropriate action is taken i.e. a Grant can be taken out and estate administration can begin, or the estate can be referred to the Treasury Solicitor safe in the knowledge that there are no living next of kin who have a legitimate claim to the estate.
Where Finders can track down missing, entitled relatives, the Finders Fee is agreed directly with such persons i.e. a percentage of their net entitlement when the estate is distributed. This fee methodology safeguards against payments having to be recalled where a will is found halfway through the administration of the estate, in addition to safeguarding solicitors by ensuring that they are not responsible for the handling of the estate administration. Finders can also seek to find entitled blood relatives prior to the estate being passed to the Crown in order to establish whether the Crown would have an interest in the estate in question. This arrangement is beneficial to avoid a situation where a solicitor is unable to recoup costs where they the Treasury Solicitor’s Bona Vacantia estates division cannot refund the costs having already made the decision to refer the estate.
An arrangement with Finders will also prove beneficial to solicitors as, where a firm of solicitors has referred a Bona Vacanatia estate to Finders, Finders will put the firm forward for consideration by the prospective estate administrator. This will not only enable the firm the opportunity to recoup expenses through the administration of the estate, but creates a further opportunity for the firm to reclaim costs which would have been lost had they referred the estate immediately to the Bona Vacantia Estates division.
Finders have an incredibly high success rate in finding heirs to an estate, even in scenarios where there are ‘no known next of kin’, ‘no surviving relatives’ or ‘no family’; phrases which Finders often hears. Although, these heirs can often be distant relatives or may be living abroad with no prior knowledge of the deceased, the underlying fact remains; these heirs are entitled to inherit an estate prior the Treasury Solicitor’s Bona Vacantia Estates division acting on behalf of the Crown.
Quite simply, nothing is lost and there is no risk incurred when Finders are instructed by solicitors to investigate an estate when there are seemingly no next kin.
Daniel Curran is MD of Finders International Probate Genealogists and can be contacted via www.trace-people-online.co.uk