Review of 2021

As is the case with most businesses, we at Finders International started the year in an uncertain state of mind thanks to the ongoing pandemic and the subsequent lockdown that lasted almost five months.

However, we managed to adapt to the somewhat challenging circumstances and even to thrive, expanding our team and bringing virtual events to more than 1,400 attendees, not to mention our regular case load of work where we locate the rightful heirs to estates and ensure they receive what they are entitled to as those heirs.

In 2021, we were announced the winner of the ‘Best Probate Research Firm’ at the Probate Research awards for the third year in a row. In an industry that is unregulated and can attract unscrupulous businesses and individuals, it is very important to us that we can demonstrate evidence of excellence to give the solicitors, law firms, local authorities and individuals that we work with confidence in our abilities.

Best use of marketing and social media

At the British Wills and Probate Awards, we received a highly commended recognition for ‘Probate Research Firm of the Year’ and ‘Best Use of Marketing & Social Media’.

We have joined the Good Business Charter and we are now members of the Professional Deputies Forum. This forum is for solicitors and legal executives who act as professional deputies and those who work alongside them to share news, views and best practice, while also providing a collective voice to act as a conduit between its members and third parties such as the Office of the Public Guardian, the Ministry of Justice, the Court of Protection and the Law Society.

Case work-related highlights

We are delighted to announce that we have completed more pro bono cases for the public sector than ever this year, at just over 1000!

As ever, our work to find heirs uncovered many fascinating tales. Nicola Turner contacted us earlier in the year, having discovered a mysterious chest when clearing out an annex of her late mother-in-law’s house.

The chest had been undisturbed for almost 40 years and contained sketches, log books, passports and diaries of RAF pilot Flight Lieutenant Rex Goring-Morris. We knew at once that it ought to be reunited with the family of Flt Lt Goring-Morris and we tracked down his son, David, who later joined Nicola and Finders International’s managing director, Danny Curran, to discuss his father with BBC London.

In another case, we found the sole beneficiary of a £400,000 estate—an Indonesian teenager whose father, Alexander Thomson, died of lung cancer in 2020. Mr Thomson appeared to have no immediate next-of-kin but Finders International discovered that he had a sole heir in Indonesia who rightfully inherited his house and the many treasures found within, including a vase worth £20,000.


We were also asked to find the next of kin of William Page Mitchell, who died in Glasgow in 2010 – a former RAF pilot. We found his 74-year-old son, Andrew, who had not seen his father since his grandmother’s funeral, more than 40 years ago.

Andrew told the Scottish Sun that he was grateful to the Finders team for helping to close this chapter of his life.

When Reginald Aldham died in 2019, he left behind a £600,000 fortune. The Cambridge architect had no known next of kin and Finders International subsequently discovered 30 relatives who were entitled to a share in the estate. What proved particularly interesting about the late Reginald Aldham was his connections to the Earl of Carnavon. His grandfather had been the earl’s butler, and the earl was the financial backer of the excavation of Tutankhamun’s tomb.

Sir Captain Tom Moore family tree

To mark what would have been Sir Captain Tom Moore’s 101st birthday in 2021, Finders International delved into the late captain’s family tree. Sir Captain Tom Moore came to prominence in 2020 when he walked laps of his garden in the lead-up to his 100th birthday to raise money for NHS charities and raised £38.9 million.

When we looked into his family tree, we were able to go right back to the birth of his great-great grandparents in the 1790s. We sent the family tree and our findings to Sir Captain Moore’s daughter, along with the money we raised for his charity.

Events and General

In 2021, we were able to organise and run 24 virtual training events, all of which are CPD accredited, that were brought to just over 1,400 people.

We also donated to the Dania Scandinavian School in Islington that caters for children aged 2-11 years old. While the school follows the UK national curriculum, there is a focus on Scandinavian principles, which place greater emphasis on play, creativity, emotional and social interaction, and outdoor learning. In 2021, the Dania School moved to its new home, named the Curran House.

In addition, we collected donations made via our social events and feedback forms for our two chosen 2021 charities, Age UK and Young Minds, and we are now the sponsors of Active Sports FC.

And finally, from everyone at Finders International, we would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Finders International trace missing beneficiaries to estates, properties and assets.  To see a full list of our services, please visit our website.  Alternatively, you can contact us via telephone +44(0) 20 7490 4935 or email [email protected]