Finders International –a successful year in challenging times

Years don’t come stranger than 2020 and like all the UK’s businesses, Finders International found itself rapidly pivoting to a different working environment, services and support for our clients over the last nine months, writes Finders International’s CEO and founder, Danny Curran.

When the UK’s first lockdown was announced in March, we successfully switched to home working for all our staff apart from a skeletal staff structure in the London office. For years now, we’ve organised free events for deputyships, solicitors and others. With lockdown and social distancing measures in place, we made these events virtual and ran 13 of them, bringing in more than 700 viewers.

In February, we won the ‘Best Probate Research Firm of the Year’ at the prestigious Probate Research Awards and the same award at the annual British Wills and Probate awards in October.

ICCM corporate members

Accreditations to professional bodies are important to us and this year we became corporate members of the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management (ICCM), which develops and promotes best practice in cemeteries and crematoria, and provides accredited training and educational opportunities for those working within the service.

Fifty-two of our staff members are now dementia friends. The initiative, run by the Alzheimer’s Society, encourages people to learn about dementia so they can help their community. Dementia Friends raises awareness and understanding of the condition, so that people living with it can continue to live the way they want.

This year’s case-related highlights included surprising one woman with a £10,000 inheritance. We contacted Rebecca Green, whose relative Derek Lewis Mercer from Hastings in Sussex, had died without leaving a will.

Twenty-one relatives found

Rebecca believed her relative had died some years ago and had not had any estate to leave behind. However, his estate was worth £250,000 and our company traced 21 relatives in total who all inherited their fair share. Talking to the local newspaper, The Argus, Rebecca said the money had “made a huge difference to my life”, as she was able to put it towards her business.

Another beneficiary we found was Amy Fabris, who inherited £7,000 from her estranged father’s estate, and we traced the relatives of the motorbike racing champion, Tony Godfrey. Tony was a retired aeronautical draughtsman who sadly died alone in a care home with no known next of kin.

We managed to find his cousin once removed—Elizabeth Wilson, who was the heir to his estate. We also discovered Tony’s fascinating past. He used to take part in the Isle of Man TT, making his first appearance in the race in 1950 and later becoming a British US motorbike racing champion.

Certified Firm

We have secured our ISO 27001 certification for another year. A certification for Information Security Management Systems, offering our client reassurance that we observe best practice procedures.

Finders Estate Agency

Finders International now has an estate agency that deals with probate property sales and services. Our company has been involved in probate property since its beginnings in 1997, and this year we decided to expand our tried and trusted services by launching a specific estate agency firm. We can now offer to complete sales, as well as providing careful management of properties that are part of a sometimes lengthy estate administration process.

With the roll-out of the vaccine, 2021 should be a better year for most of us, and it is my sincere hope that the impact of Covid-19 did not affect you and your family severely. Finders International will continue to strive towards providing excellent probate research services in 2021 and beyond, and we look forward to being able to see our colleagues and clients in person once more.

To find out more information on Finders International’s services, please visit our website.  Alternatively, you can contact Finders via email: [email protected] or telephone: +44 (0) 20 7490 4935.