Our core belief is that those persons who should benefit from an estate receive their full entitlement, whether this arises from express instructions left in a Will or in accordance with the rules of intestacy when there is no Will.
In some instances, beneficiaries can’t be located or indeed, if there is no Will, may well be unknown. We support this process by locating those believed to be missing who have been cited in a Will or alternatively, conduct genealogical research to establish who should benefit if there is no Will in place – we refer to this as family tree reconstruction.
The cost of providing these support services is in no way dependent or reliant on the value of an estate. The cost involved in carrying out the work always remains the same, regardless of the sums at stake.
The experienced team at Title Research are proud to offer fixed fees wherever possible and never apply a fee based on the value of an estate – we don’t believe this pricing method is fair or representative of the cost involved in carrying out the research.
We have over 50 years of experience to draw upon and access to the latest technologies and methodologies, which allows us to carry out research in a thorough, timely and efficient manner.
We conduct our work on a fixed-fee basis wherever possible, meaning you can be sure that the timescales involved to complete the research are realistic and transparent and we will maintain regular contact with your solicitor throughout this process.
Title Research offers fixed fees wherever possible to locate missing beneficiaries and reconstruct family trees – not only in England and Wales but also in overseas jurisdictions. We have been conducting work of this nature successfully for over 50 years and believe that this is a fair and transparent charging method for the specialist research we carry out.
A fixed fee means just that; no hidden costs or costs based on the value of an estate. Our role and responsibility in this process are to locate beneficiaries and establish entitlement. If a beneficiary cannot be located, we can assist in providing a quote for missing beneficiary indemnity insurance through our specialist insurance partners. We can also provide a quotation for comfort cover following comprehensive research when no beneficiaries are known to be missing – providing you with complete reassurance and peace of mind prior to distribution. In the very unlikely circumstance that our research yields no positive result and we are unable to put insurance in place, then our fees will not be charged for locating that beneficiary.
Although we try to offer a fixed fee wherever we can, sometimes this isn’t possible and we will offer research services on a “time and expenses” basis. This is a charging method whereby an initial working budget is agreed in advance based on our experience of conducting research in a particularly tricky jurisdiction or complex circumstance. It’s possible that research can be concluded within or below that budget, equally it is possible that the budget may be exceeded if research can’t be concluded.
Although we have extensive knowledge both within the UK and internationally, sometimes our research is dependent on the infrastructure of the localities in which we’re conducting that research. We rely on historical registers, databases and documents and unfortunately in some jurisdictions they are not readily available or are not held in a way that makes them easy to access.
In these situations, we may need to charge on a time and expense basis purely because the time-frames involved will be much longer and highly unpredictable. However, we will always advise of this and update your solicitor at every stage of research to ensure that you are receiving the best possible value and service.
If you are the Personal Representative (legally referred to as an Executor or Administrator), then you are personally liable to ensure that the estate is distributed in accordance with the terms of the Deceased’s Will, or the rules of intestacy if there was no Will. Should missing or currently unknown beneficiaries come forward in the future then they would have the right to pursue you for the share of the estate that they did not receive.
By ensuring that a thorough investigation is carried out, and backed up with a missing beneficiary indemnity policy, you can protect yourself from any potential future liability.
Our dedicated team of experts are available Monday to Friday between 8am - 5pm to ensure a resolution is achieved smoothly and efficiently.
Our fixed fee services offer our clients total transparency from the start and ensure more money left in the estate when it matters.