Flame television has been commissioned by the BBC to produce an 8th series of the popular daytime genealogy and social history series Heir Hunters.
For this series the work of four major probate research firms will be covered and for the first time, Finders probate genealogists will feature. Finders is celebrating its 15th anniversary in 2013 and during those fifteen years founder Daniel Curran has seen many changes in the industry. Finders has not previously appeared on Heir Hunters, but Daniel Curran, founder of Finders, felt that “the commitment to show the human and professional side or our work convinced us that taking part was the right thing to do.”
The success of the television programme Heir Hunters has gone hand in hand with the increasing success of heir hunters like Finders in reuniting entitled beneficiaries with their rightful inheritance. This is reflected by a fall of some £15 million in the income the government receives from Bona Vacantia, although the number of cases remains similar year on year.
This latest series of Heir Hunters will reflect many of the changes that Finders UK have seen in the heir hunting business and the fact that since January 2013 there have been some major changes to the world of probate research. One of the most significant changes has been within The Treasury Solicitors’ Bona Vacantia division, the public body that deals with the estates of people who have died with no known relatives. In the past the Bona Vacantia division published a list of unclaimed estates every Thursday, now notification of such estates is published randomly at any time and on any day. The effect of this for heir hunters is that they must be ready to research new cases and trace the beneficiaries as and when they come in.
This faster and more immediate way of working has not only caused changes to the way heir hunters work but also to the way the television series Heir Hunters is made. For series eight Flame TV will be following Finders cases on a daily basis.
Another significant change brought about by the Treasury Solicitor is a decrease in the minimum value of advertised estates. Previously estates were only advertised if they had a minimum value of £5,000 that has now been dropped to £500 which means that although there are more cases listed, many of these will cost more to research than they are worth. This provides a headache for probate genealogists who are increasingly relying on their own detective work to establish whether Bona Vacantia cases are viable and are gathering information from sources such as solicitor referrals, neighbours and good old local knowledge. Finders work in this area will be shown for the first time in series 8 of Heir Hunters which will be aired from January 2014.
Finders have been awarded the ISO 9001:2008 Total Quality Management certification and are the first probate genealogy firm to achieve the international version of this Standard as devised by the IAB (International Accreditation Board). Finders also provide missing beneficiary insurance, which protects trustees and administrators against the event of an unknown beneficiary emerging after an estate, has been distributed. As agents for Aviva they are regulated by the Financial Services Authority.
For further information and advice contact Finders, 6-8 Vestry Street, London N1 7RE 020 7490 4935 www.findersuk.com.