Frequently asked questions

We hope the following will be helpful, but please do not hesitate to contact us with any other questions you may have.

You are always welcome to visit our offices in person. Should you wish to arrange a visit, please contact your Case Manager.

Alternatively we can send one of our representatives to visit you at home or work or another specified location if this is more convenient for you.

Lawyers’ fees on UK estates are paid by the general estate and settled before any distribution takes place. Beneficiaries are not liable. An added bonus for Finders clients is that we have arranged preferential terms with a panel of independent firms of SRA regulated solicitors. When chosen to administer an estate they have agreed to waive their fees should the net estate be insolvent or amount to less than £500. Thus, by using one of Finders panel of solicitors, you can never be left with any legal fees to pay personally .

Whilst Finders are well known and highly reputable international firm of probate genealogists we acknowledge our contact may come as a complete surprise to those involved.

Details of our credentials and accreditations can be found here and Testimonials can be read here.

It is not uncommon for Finders to begin research speculatively and be unaware of the Estate value. It takes some time to establish an accurate estate value in these cases. Your actual share of the estate is defined by Intestacy Law and advice on how this works can be found here. Sometimes we know the approximate value of an asset or approximate estate value at the outset.

No! Although Finders have become part of the BBC’s “Heir Hunters” programme, you will never be named or featured without your prior approval. We regard client confidentiality extremely highly and are bound strictly by the Data Protection Act and our ISO accreditations.

No. We waive our costs and commission if the claim is unsuccessful for any reason.

If you have chosen to use a firm of solicitors from our panel of preferred Solicitors’ Regulation Authority regulated firms they will also waive their fees.

However, if you use any other firm of solicitors or a Probate or Estate administration firm they may not be regulated by the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority and may not agree to waive fees, so please exercise caution.

We are regulated by the International Association of Professional Probate Researchers, Genealogists & Heir Hunters, which is a prestigious global body offering regulation and codes of conduct and ethics.

We are also have a Professional Conduct Code as well as numerous accreditations.

There is no overall governing or government regulatory body for probate genealogy in the UK.

This is a common statement we hear from beneficiaries! However, once the genealogy is unravelled, you may find that the Deceased is a very distant relative you have never heard of and you could be surprised.

Once Finders have completed the necessary family research and received the required documents back from the entitled kin, we will collate the full findings into a family report for the Estate Custodians (usually a firm of Lawyers). They will then work through the estate administration which involves collecting the estate assets and settling any liabilities. Once the Lawyers have the net sum for distribution, they will be in a position to calculate each beneficiary’s entitlement and proceed with distribution of funds.

Generally, any of the Deceased’s personal possessions considered of value will ultimately be liquidised into cash and will form part of the asset value of the Estate to be divided between the family.

Other items such as old family photographs, may have been retained and the Estate Custodians may be able to arrange to have these copied or sent to the interested beneficiaries.

The job of tracing missing beneficiaries is traditionally known as probate genealogy, probate research or forensic genealogy, but, as a result of the BBC television programme of the same name, “Heir Hunters” has become a popular term.

In most or our cases we are the only firm authorised to work on a particular matter.

Sometimes we instigate and fund research on cases ourselves to find beneficiaries to estates or assets that appear to be unclaimed. In these case you may receive approaches from more than one firm.

However, in general, we are working on cases that no other firm should be aware of. Therefore, if you do receive correspondence from anyone else, you are welcome to contact us to seek advice.

Please be aware that, although uncommon, there are some scams and rogue traders operating from time to time.