Well I never….

12 June 2016

Life is full of surprises. You think you have a plan and then something unexpected pops up. As MD of FWL, I do like to have a bit of a strategy or at least a hopeful list of actions to complete within the ever expanding working week. Our expectations (within the team) are pretty high and we, as we’ve mentioned before, like to ensure that we deliver on promises. In the last week or two though, we’ve been asked to provide timescales on various projects where the onus lies completely outside our control. When will we pay out an estate? When all the beneficiaries have approved the accounts and not before. When will that be? How the heck do we know?! [or how long is a piece of string, as we have blogged about before!]

Since our appearance on the BBC two weeks ago, we have taken on a lot of new projects and the number of certificates and documents landing on the office doormat each day is increasing exponentially. Did you know though…. when we order a certificate from the General Register Office, unless we pay £23.40, it takes between seven and ten working days for it to be delivered. Not a lot of people listen when we tell them that, it would seem! Contacting us a few days later to ask if there is any news will not make the certificate/document arrive any quicker, you know!

The problem with all the television shows and media attention on genealogy/tracing your family history is that people think it’s easy, cheap and achievable in a heartbeat. Myth buster…. all false. There is a lot of expertise required in this field, as well as dedication, professionalism, empathy and accuracy in research. You can’t just pick up the telephone and blurt out that the person you are speaking to, unbeknownst to them, is actually one of several illegitimate children of their now-deceased mother. Tact, diplomacy…. required in bucket loads.

A business colleague of mine recently approached me after receiving an unsolicited letter from someone professing to be his half-blood sister. Research proved that this was indeed the case but, of course, came as a total shock to him and his full-blood sister. It is sometimes better for someone not emotionally connected with the matter to write initially but, in this situation, after advice and guidance from FWL, the family have met up and are now very much a part of each other’s lives.

If you need any advice on matters like this, give us a call. Our advice is free for the first half-hour!

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