The meaning of the phrase ‘where there’s a will there’s a way’ is that if you are determined enough, you can find a way to achieve what you want, even if it is (very) difficult. However, in our job, it seems to have taken on another meaning entirely for perhaps obvious reasons!
At FWL, we work with solicitors across the globe in various different ways. We mainly work with the Wills, Trusts and Probate teams but not exclusively.
Have you written a Will? When was the last time you read it? Is is still valid? Although you might have written a Will, it may not be valid when the time comes and this can lead to the estate being treated as if you had died intestate, i.e. without a Will. Under the laws of intestacy, your assets are distributed according to a statutory set of rules which leave a person’s estate to their next of kin in a fixed order. In intestate cases, solicitors need thorough research to be undertaken into the deceased’s ancestry and that’s where we come in, as professional family historians and probate researchers. Often, our work doesn’t come through solicitors though – it comes via the government’s Bona Vacantia website where a new list is posted every day of estates which have not been claimed and are currently being held by the Treasury Solicitor.
Even if there is a Will, sometimes our services are required. If the Will was written a while ago and one or more of the beneficiaries has moved to a different address than stated, they will need to be traced. This can be a simple task which can be conducted by the solicitor dealing with the estate but some people these days seem to want to cover their tracks for one reason or another and are slightly more challenging to track down. We can help! We have a 100% crack rate – there is no-one we haven’t found. Some cases take longer than others, some are really quick. So, if you are looking for someone – for whatever reason – get in touch with us at FWL!