As is traditional at this time of year, we are taking a look at all that has happened over the last 12 months. It’s been a frantically busy year, as our business continues to expand and grow.
The ninth series of Heir Hunters was broadcast in February/March of this year and we featured as a main firm in the series. The show continues to grow in popularity and the cases featured this time included that of Richard Lay, who had left behind a vast collection of Dinky model toy cars, Alec Fisher who had died on the same day in the same hospital as his estranged brother, and Audrey Gilkerson, who had left behind an extensive collection of cine films documenting she and her husband’s travels.
Filming for the 10th series of Heir Hunters has already begun and we spent two days in Guernsey facilitating the filming for this series. At this stage we can’t reveal any more but suffice to say, the next series promises to be even better than the last with twists and turns, and plenty of heart-warming conclusions.
As we move into 2016, we are finishing off filming for Series 10 Heir Hunters and already had some prominent media exposure, with many more features lined up.
In April, we held our Spring Fling, to mark 18 years in the business of probate genealogy, and to celebrate the launch of our new international services and the opening of new offices. We welcomed clients past and present to our celebration, which took place at the St Pancras Renaissance London Hotel and we also used the opportunity to raise money for the Dania School in London (a Scandinavian school which combines British, Scandinavian and Montessori methods in its teaching).
This year, we opened two new offices – one in Dublin and one in Edinburgh, reflecting the increase in demand for our services all over the UK and Ireland, and to give lawyers and local authorities in Ireland and Scotland access to the same levels of professionalism and services in tracing beneficiaries to an estate as their English and Welsh counterparts.
In addition, Finders International can now offer executors or administrators of estates a distribution schedule or check the solicitor’s figures free of charge and carry out a bankruptcy search on individuals living overseas before they are paid.
Finders International also launched two websites listing all unclaimed estates of persons of Scottish origin or Irish, held by the Crown in England & Wales at www.unclaimedestates.scot and www.unclaimedestates.ie inviting people to search or browse through the websites and if they recognised a name, to make contact with us. There are many estates still unclaimed on these websites.
We took part in filming for the BBC Family Finders programme relating to an Irish adoption case. Because our day-to-day work involves such an extensive amount of tracing and locating people, it was a natural choice to pick us to help out in the search for the family.
And finally, 2015 has been a busier year than ever before because the number of heir hunter firms around the world have approached us seeking our assistance as the knowledge of our expertise grows. We’ve employed more people to cope with the demand and in our offices in Ireland and Scotland, and we have had to buy more office space at our headquarters location in Shoreditch, which will enable us to expand the business by up to 50 percent in 2016.
No doubt, it’s been a hectic but incredible year and all that remains for me to do is to wish you and yours Season’s Greetings and all the best for 2016.