Frequently Asked Questions
Why have you contacted me?
At Helvor Probate Research Ltd. we concentrate on tracing missing heirs to estates where a person has died without leaving a will and with no known relatives at the time of death. We have contacted you because we think you may be an entitled relative or may have information that will help with our research.
Can I check that you are genuine?
Yes, we welcome enquiries to check that we are a genuine company with genuine researchers. Our company registration number is 08484296. This can be checked with Companies House or your local Trading Standards. We are registered with the Information Commissioner for data protection - number Z3640112. Helen is a chartered member of the Institute of Library and Information Professionals - number 34690, a member of FPAR and the Association of Professional Genealogists.
What happens after you have contacted me?
If we establish that you are an entitled relative, we will visit you if you are in our area and you prefer a visit. Or we will send you the information needed if you are happy to sign a contract with us appointing us as your representative to claim your share of the inheritance from the treasury
What is the value of the estate?
An estate has to have a minimum value of £500 to be advertised by the Treasury Solicitor. We are usually told the approximate value of an estate once a claim has been accepted by the Treasury Solicitor. Where the treasury Solicitor is not involved we are able to assess the likely value of an estate very soon after we start work on it.
How long does it take?
This depends on the value and complexity of the estate. We have known simple and low value estates to be settled within three months but where property and other assets are involved or the estate is high value then the process could take at least a year. Where property is involved we may need to appoint a solicitor to handle that part of the estate.
How do you earn your money?
We earn our money from receiving a finder’s fee from each entitled relative based on the estate’s value. Our percentage finder’s fee is stated on the contract you sign and any costs or disbursements such as the cost of obtaining probate, legal fees for selling a property, are explained to you at the outset. We keep our overheads low and are very competitive in this area of work.
What if I am contacted by another company?
Several companies may research an estate and contact beneficiaries at around the same time. We offer a home visit if you are in our local area, clear rates of fees with no hidden extras, a friendly telephone advice service, confidentiality, skill and efficiency and understanding of the varied, mixed emotions you may feel as a “missing heir”. Not all beneficiaries may sign with the same company. If that is the case then we are experienced in working alongside other companies, although we do feel that we offer a more personal service than many companies.
Can I make my own claim?
Yes you can. You will need to prove your entitlement to the estate, purchase all necessary certificates and submit your claim. You will be responsible for tracing, contacting, proving and paying out every entitled relative on both sides of the deceased’s family, however distant, producing estate accounts, completing tax forms and drawing up a complete family tree. If the estate proves to be of low value or insolvent then you could end up losing money as well as taking on a legal responsibility. If we make the claim for you then all those costs and legal responsibilities become ours and you will not incur any costs other than your stated finder's fee.
Can I have a family tree once the claim is finalised?
Yes you can - it is part of our service. On request, subject to permission and data protection we are also happy to forward information on to relatives who would like to be reunited with each other.