The article highlights the important work probate genealogists undertake when tracing next of kin with thousands of pounds left unclaimed from people who have died intestate. Firms such as Finders International look at the Bona Vacantia list, a Latin term for ‘ownerless goods’ to track down people who may not ever have known they were entitled to an estate.
But many people are distrustful of someone writing a letter or arriving at their doorstep telling them they may be due a windfall. Therefore, you should always check their credentials and ask if they are a part of a regulatory body like the IAPPR. We provide reassurance for beneficiaries ensuring that our members commit to safe and ethical standards.
IAPPR member Danny Curran said in the article: ‘It is natural to be wary and if someone knocks on your door you should ask to see identity documents and call their company to confirm details if you feel nervous.
‘You do not have to sign anything immediately. Check to see if they are a member of the trade body, the International Association of Professional Probate Researchers, which has a code of practice plus a mediation service to handle any complaints.’