Life is like a box of chocolates

20 May 2016

That’s what Mama always said, according to Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump. And Mama was right: “You never know what you’re gonna get!” Today has certainly been a day of change and unexpectedly, in the most part. New team members joining FWL and others departed (or will soon depart)…. many accepted cases returned from the Government Legal Department (GLD) and so much work coming in….  it’s really exciting!

Just when you think you have the system sussed though, the GLD has recently changed the guidance on referring a deceased’s persons estate. Just when the banks knew what they were doing with intestate estate claims…. ugh. Back to square one again! 

According to the GOV.UK website, “BVD [Bonavacantia Division] is changing its practice for handling claims to recently advertised, un-administered, estates. Under the new practice, BVD will aim to advertise such estates within five working days of receipt and will include details of the informant on the list subject to our responsibilities under the DPA (Data Protection Act). Once evidence has been provided that there is no Crown interest in the estate, they will return all the papers to whoever referred the estate. Details of who ultimately administers the estate will neither be requested nor held by BVD.”

In many ways, this makes sense. However, I wonder what will happen when several companies act for beneficiaries in a given estate. Is it left up to the person who referred the estate to sort it all out? Seems a bit of a back step, in my opinion, and the process for each individual referrer will cause headaches all round, I am quite sure.

There is a phrase, “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it!” and that is so true. The old system worked, in a manner of speaking. However, the issue/s has/ve been identified (one case officer mentioned to me that BV have no ‘right’ to ask who the administrator is, or indeed recognise their appointment, merely to recognise that the Crown has no further interest) and changes have been made.

Is everything hunky dory now? Is it ever? But this box of chocolates is pretty varied… and we never know what we are going to get! Today has been an ‘odd’ but good day. Roll on the weekend, eh folks?

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