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Funerals are commonly regarded as the process of celebrating life and mourning the passing of a relative or friend. However, another type of funeral takes place with the aspects of celebrating and mourning completely absent. These are funerals arranged under the Public Health Act, also known as public health funerals.

Funerals of this nature are arranged by the council as the deceased is not close or may not even know their nearest next of kin. So falls the responsibility to the council. These funerals are kept respectful but are very much limited in cost. The problem here is that a large aspect of respecting the deceased relies on who knows about the funeral. Does family not deserve to know regardless of how close they are to the deceased?
Although councils work hard to try and locate relatives of the deceased, they can lack the expertise and resources to successfully trace them. That is where Blanchards can help.

Heir Hunters

Blanchards are international Probate Researchers, Genealogists, and Beneficiary Tracers. More commonly known as Heir Hunters. When someone dies intestate, an informant contacts us, be it the Government Legal Department, Councils, or the police to trace the unknown relatives.

After councils exhaust their resources, many estates go unclaimed. The duty and financial responsibility of the funeral falls with that council under Section 46 of the Public Health Act. If referred to a third party, such as Blanchards, we use our resources and years of experience to provide a far superior success rate at tracing any relatives. We then begin the process of transferring the unclaimed estate to the Next of Kin. Moreover, we reimburse the council’s funeral funds from the estate.
On the subject of money, tracing relatives can be an extremely time-consuming operation without the right knowledge or resources, and we all know time is money. Although tracing these heirs will be a lengthy process, with experts tracing for you, it will not be wasted time. This is because we know where to look and what to look for to confirm genealogical legitimacy, saving time in the process.

Probate Property Solutions

With unclaimed estates, comes empty properties. In the Governments most recent figures released in November 2020, it reports that there are over 268 thousand empty properties in the UK. These properties being empty for at least six months. It is estimated that £200 million is needed to support local authorities in bringing empty properties back into use.
This is because empty properties can pose many risks and lead to many problems for councils. For example, there is always the threat of squatters and break-ins which in turn can cause damage. Damage which the council is responsible for. Not only is the property at risk, but also those unlawfully entering, as not all properties are in safe conditions. If said individuals injured themselves in the unsecured property, the council would be culpable. This can of course lead to legal action being taken and the council being sued, regardless of if they entered the property unlawfully.

These concerns can be alleviated by Probate Property Solutions (PPS). PPS has been dealing with Probate Properties for many years, specialising in the insuring and securing of properties. This will offer peace of mind to councils as we assure that these properties will be dealt with and handled correctly.

Secure and Insure Service

Our “Secure and Insure” service has many components. To secure the property we perform a thorough examination, making sure there are no broken windows and doors. If these are present in the house, one of our trained experts will ensure it is either fixed or boarded up to make the whole property secure. In addition, we change all external locks to make sure they comply with the Unoccupied Home Insurance policy. This will make sure our clients have an account for all copies of the keys.

Another factor in this service is unoccupied property insurance which our specialist team can arrange for you. This offers you peace of mind that should an unforeseen issue arise, you are covered against any damage. Moreover, Unoccupied Property Insurance includes weekly visits to the property. This is because if anything occurs and causes damage, we can notify them as quickly as possible. Completing weekly inspections also reduces the risk of squatters.

In conclusion, both Blanchards and Probate Property Solutions offer services that both financially and resourcefully aid councils. If you are in need of the assistance outlined, please contact us. We have experience working with councils and are ready to aid at no cost to the Public Sector.

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