Probate & online records

by EdwardHandsandLewis on May 16, 2013

1319p Emma Fuller of Edward Hands and Lewis

By Emma Fuller

Many people now store their documents on their computers and no longer have paper bank statements.  This trend has developed over several years now and means that our approach to dealing with probate has to evolve to keep up with these changes.

In days gone by, many people would store all of their insurance documents, share certificates and paperwork together.  Nowadays, there is often some paperwork but it is difficult to tell whether this shows the full picture of their financial affairs.  If there is a computer in the home then the chances are that there will be some online financial affair.

There are sometimes legal and financial requirements for replacing documents which might have gone astray. Gathering relevant life policies; pension fund and investment details together is often done at the same time that a Will is prepared, but there are still the years afterwards where new investments may be made and policies taken out.

We often find ourselves dealing with estates of individuals who had lost share certificates during their lifetime, or where the relatives dealing with the probate had no idea of the financial affairs of the estate.

To avoid problems you can ensure that financial affairs are kept in order, even attaching a list of computer passwords to your Will for safekeeping.  Executors can obtain help from various sources in chasing up accounts and policies which they think may exist but it can be difficult to know where to look.

At Edward Hands & Lewis, we offer an asset search service which searches against various databases to identify shares and accounts that are held in the estate.  This locates the most typical “lost” assets such as shares (especially those that have been derived from the utility shares or building society issues in years gone by, that people may have acquired without realising).  If you are dealing with an estate and don’t know quite where to start, please give us a call and we would be happy to help. In our experience these usually locate assets far in excess of the cost of the search, and give peace of mind that you haven’t missed something, particularly important as Executors can be personally liable for an estate.

EdwardHandsandLewis Edward Hands & Lewis is a firm that has evolved over time with a commitment to its core values. We have never forgotten that we are here because of our clients who have supported us over many years. We are proud to be at the heart of the communities in which we serve and we are equally proud of the team that we have to provide such service. We aim to provide value for money with a commitment to good, clear and concise advice. We take the time to ensure that our advice and assistance matches your goals. Unlike many professional services organisations, brevity and helpfulness are our watchwords. The agile and creative minds of the people we employ equip them to advise the same client on a diverse range of matters. This multi-specialism makes our lawyers and advisors expert on a range of the legal and other issues affecting their clients’ business. The strength and depth of our client relationships avoids wasted time and cost: it enables us to keep up to speed on business and sectoral developments and there is no need to field large teams of experts as a matter of course. While we have been established for many years, we pride ourselves on forward-thinking and believe we have achieved the right blend between traditional and modern. Whether you are an existing client of ours, are about to become a client or are looking to join us, we sincerely hope that your experience is a positive one.

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