Finders International--a year like no other

Finders International--a year like no other

PR Newswire

LONDON, Dec. 23, 2020

LONDON, Dec. 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Like most businesses in the UK, Finders International found itself pivoting rapidly to a very different working environment, services and support for our clients in 2020, writes Finders International's CEO and founder, Danny Curran.

When the UK's first lockdown in response to the global pandemic was announced in March, we switched to home working for our staff based in our London, Dublin and Edinburgh offices, apart from a skeletal staff structure in the London office.

For many years now, we have organised free events for deputyships, solicitors and others aimed at connecting people who support older, vulnerable members of our society who have a reduced mental capacity.

Virtual events for local authority staff

With lockdown and social distancing measures in place, we made these events virtual and ran 13 of them, bringing in more than 700 viewers. Furthermore, for each feedback form completed for our events, we donated money to charities working hard to support those that needed it the most during this turbulent year.

Our virtual free events programme will continue in 2021, as we have organised further e-conferences, including our first ever online event for care home managers and staff, which will take place on 28 January.

This will cover when residents need help managing their finances, who makes decisions about capacity, and managing monies best practice for care homes. The event will highlight issues that care home staff face every day, enabling them to get an understanding of what they should do in certain situations and offer practical advice.

Event for coroners

In addition, we're inviting coroners in England and Wales to an event on 21 January. Speakers confirmed for the hour and a half event include Dr Ron Daniels, chief executive officer of the UK Sepsis Trust, Professor Marian Knight, maternal programme lead of Mbrrace-uk, Victoria Lebrec, head of policy, campaigns and communications at RoadPeace, and the Reverend Christine Copsey, the coroners chaplain at Norwich County Hall. A speaker from the organisation Digital Autopsy will also be present.

Both events start at 10.30am, and can be accessed via the Public Health Funerals Information Service website.

The next instalment of our hospital-focused events that includes topics relevant to those working within and in association with hospitals across the UK will be another e-conference on 4 February.

End of life care

Speakers include Toby Lee Manning and Aly Dickinson from End of Life Doula UK. End of life doulas support people with a terminal diagnosis, and work in someone's home, hospitals, care homes and hospices, and in communities.

Another development this year was the launch of our new estate agency set up to deal with probate property sales and services. Our company has been involved in probate property since its beginnings in the 1990s. This year we decided to expand our tried and trusted services and can now offer to complete sales, as well as providing careful management of properties. Administration can be a lengthy process, but the estate agency can help speed it up.

Finders International's other main business—probate research—continued as normal throughout 2020. While it was easier for Finders to diverge operations given the smaller numbers of staff, it was no mean feat to undertake. Physical resources were closed, which presented a few issues, however online resources remained available and Finders were able to continue tracing next of kin as usual.

Surprise £10,000 inheritance

This year's case-related highlights included surprising one woman with a £10,000 inheritance. We contacted Rebecca Green, whose relative Derek Lewis Mercer from Hastings in Sussex, had died without leaving a will.

Rebecca was under the impression her relative had died some years ago and had not had any estate to leave behind. However, his estate was worth £250,000 and we traced 21 relatives in total who all inherited a share. Talking to the local newspaper, The Argus, Rebecca said she had been able to put the money towards her Devon-based business.

Another beneficiary we found was Amy Fabris, who inherited £7,000 from her estranged father's estate. Amy, a dental nurse from Bournemouth, never knew her father as he left her mother before she was born. But when he died without leaving a will, Amy was entitled to a share of his estate because his name was on her birth certificate.

Amy described the inheritance as a "total surprise" as her father had contributed nothing to her upbringing. She said she planned to take her mother on a cruise in the future.

Former motorbike champion

After Tony Godfrey died alone in a care home with no known next of kin, we managed to find a cousin once removed who was the heir to his estate. We also uncovered Tony's fascinating past as he had once been a motorbike racing champion, making his first appearance in the Isle of Man TT in 1950, later becoming the British US motorbike racing champion. He was also the first person to be airlifted to hospital after a motorbike accident on the island in 1963.

In February, our firm won the 'Best Probate Research Firm of the Year' at the Probate Research Awards, and won the same award in October at the annual British Wills and Probate awards. The judges looked for companies that could 'demonstrate excellence in this niche area of the market' and were able to 'demonstrate how the organisation works collaboratively to deliver the service… demonstrating the diverse mix of skills available across the team'.

Accreditations to professional bodies are important to us and this year we became corporate members of the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management (ICCM), which develops and promotes best practice in cemeteries and crematoria, and provides accredited training and educational opportunities for those working within the service.

2020 has been an incredibly challenging year for us all, leaving no one untouched by the virus in some way or another. While we may not know when, or if, things return to normal, here at Finders International we have still been able to support those in the public sector, help solicitors find next of kin and missing assets, and surprise members of the public with unexpected inheritances, and like everyone else we look forward to what will hopefully be a better year for everyone.

To find out more information on Finders International's services, please visit the website.  Alternatively, you can contact Finders via email:  or telephone: +44 (0) 20 7490 4935

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