As Heir Hunters, we encounter deceased estates originating through various sources. Public enquiries, law firms and care homes to name a few. However, far and away, most deceased estates come from councils across the UK. Under the public health act of 1984, “It shall be the duty of a local authority to cause to be buried or cremated the body of any person who has died or been found dead in their area”. This means in instances where no arrangements can be made to handle a burial or cremation, the council must take responsibility. Councils are made aware of deceased estates through various avenues. Commonly, this can be via council properties. If the resident passes away while occupying a council property, the council will be made aware through police alerting them of a death in their property. Alternatively, councils can be made aware via an absence of council tax being paid. Overall, If a resident in their district passes away with no one to handle the burial or proceedings, the council must take responsibility.
What do councils do to locate next of kin?
It is common for councils to struggle with locating next of kin. They lack expertise and resources to accurately trace family like heir hunters can. Locating next of kin for councils is often a rudimentary procedure. A common way would be by checking next of kin records with doctors, hospitals and private health care organisations. When entering properties after a death, councils may look through address and phone books in hopes of finding family members. Besides processes like this the councils will not overstretch to locate next of kin. Often after these basic procedures are met the councils will concede and refer to the Bona Vacantia list. This is a list of deceased estates where the council cannot locate next of kin. Estates can remain unclaimed and on this list for months, years or permanently. However, by far the most secure and accurate way to locate family would be by outsourcing to heir hunting companies.
Why heir hunters are the best solution for deceased estates
Probate researchers, otherwise known as heir hunters, are experts in all facets of inheritance and beneficiary tracing. When referred a case, we utilise our years of experience and specialist technology to trace and contact any and all heirs. Such advancements and expertise is only present with companies like ourselves, hence why councils struggle so much with deceased estates.
A direct referral from councils is the fastest and most effective way to handle a deceased estate. This cuts out the limbo period of sending the case to the Bona Vacantia. Furthermore, it allows the chance to arrange a proper funeral instead of just a paupers funeral with no guests. By referring a case, Blanchards can arrange a true funeral, respecting the wishes and family and friends of the deceased. Allowing them the chance to pay respects and say goodbye.
In conclusion, any councils who wish for a fast, effective and compassionate way to handle deceased estates please consider Blanchards. This service is of course free to all councils.