BBC Morning Live – a Finders International case study

Gary Rycroft, a senior partner at Joseph A Jones & Co Solicitors, featured on BBC Morning Live discussing inheritance and the role of probate genealogists. He spoke to Kimmy Booth, a surprise beneficiary to the late Eileen Booth’s estate thanks to Finders International’s hard work in tracking her down.

When Eileen Booth, aged 90, passed away in a Surrey nursing home in 2021 without any known next of kin or a will, Finders International was tasked with locating any relatives who could inherit Eileen’s estate.

Their search led them to Canada, where Eileen’s only remaining unknown relatives resided. Kimmy Booth, 60, and her brother received a unexpected letter informing them that they were Eileen’s relatives and entitled to inherit her estate.

Born in September 1931, Eileen Booth died 12 days after her 90th birthday at a care home in Mitcham, Surrey. She never had children and had lived in Battersea, London prior to moving into care in Mitcham. Eileen and her brother Eric (Kimmy’s father), were the only children of Arthur and Elvyn Booth. In 1956, while Eric, 29, emigrated to Ottawa, Canada, Eileen remained in England. Eric, who was an engineer by profession, had a very successful life in Canada.

Kimmy’s father Eric never spoke of his family back home in England., so it was a shock to Kimmy that her and her brother were tracked down in Ottawa, Canada, as Eileen’s next of Kin. Eileen had reached out to her brother, Eric, in Canada 60 years earlier, but as she didn’t include a return address, they lost touch.

Kimmy said: “It came completely out of the blue. It caught me totally by surprise. Initially I didn’t really know what to think. Then Finders informed me that Eileen Booth was my father’s sister – my aunt. It came as a huge surprise to find out our father had a sister, and that we had never met or heard of her – a part of his life that was left unsaid. Over the years we had only kept in touch with my mother’s relatives in the UK.”

“Once I was told about my aunt, I made a special request to get any photos of her. I felt it was important to know her, even though we will never get to meet her. My dear dad passed away 47 years ago, so I don’t have anyone to ask about my aunt. Thanks to the work of Finders we now have names, dates and picture of my dad’s side of the family – so I am very grateful for that. It’s still a story we won’t get all the pieces to, but we know more now than ever before.”

“It is also quite something for his widow, my mum, here with us in Canada. Mum died before Christmas aged 100 years old and my father, Eric, died aged just 50 in 1976.”

Eileen’s estate was valued at £17,000, and Kimmy said she would use her inheritance from Eileen to buy a piece of art to remember her by.

Watch the full clip from BBC Morning Live below.