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Genealogy Researchers and Intestate Claims

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Mobythevillan | 15:06 Wed 21st Mar 2012 | Civil
2 Answers
Hello all...can you please help?

About 18 months ago I had one of those 'you may be a beneficiary to a deceased's estate' letters from a firm called Anglia Research of Ipswich and that I was to complete their paperwork to claim my share. At first, I could not think how I was related, so before deciding to sign up, I contacted Bona Vacantia (having watched Heir Hunters on the BBC) with a view to doing it myself, as it were, and not have to involve a third party, paying their fees. I registered an interest on the BV website in September 2010 and on their advice, I provided them with a copy of the deceased's Birth Certificate, where I discovered that the deceased's Mother's Maiden name was the same as my own surname, which helped establish the link.

I received nothing from either the researchers OR Bona Vacantia until Anglia Research recently sent me a further request to sign up. At this point I phoned BV who told me they had already accepted another claim (a month later than my own) from an individual who was a client of Wolsey Probate, a sister company of Anglia Research. I was very concerned about this as I had already put in my own claim before theirs. BV were very curt in their response, and they informed me that they had closed their files. If I had a complaint I was to contact Wolsey Probate, who were dealing with this matter from now on.

How can a company take control over something as private as this without my permission? If I am now to receive my share, I have been requested by the probate people to provide them with Birth, Marriage and Death Certificates and personal ID (utility bill etc.) plus photo ID proving my link to the Deceased, even though my two brothers and sister (and others) have already been signed up and accepted by Anglia as legal beneficiaries. I daresay the cost of obtaining these documents (at around £10 a pop), plus any fees they will 'incur' will impact upon the £400 I have been told by my brother could be the amount each beneficiary will receive.

Wolsey have now told me today they have no access to the information Anglia already have in their possession to prove my own link, even though they are associated with each other. This sounds to me as if they penalising me because I will not sign. Furthermore, I have been told that if I wish to complain, I should contact the Chief Executive of.....Anglia Research!! Hardly an independent party!

As we are not talking about much money here, I feel it's the principal of the thing. Why am I being forced to deal with a company who I've not requested or heard of, and provide them with personal evidence of who I am which they already have? Does this not constitute a breach of the Data Protection Act?

Thanks in advance,



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Sorry, I don't understand this.
For example, I'm not sure what you mean by "How can a company take control over something as private as this without my permission? "
If you believe you are a beneficiary I'm not sure why can't you deal direct with the matter without using these companies- or have you signed up to one of them?
Your siblings have given this company permission to take over the case

So you either pay them or provide the Probate Office with independent evidence

The Data Protection Act, as so much of the time, is a complete red herring.

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