Axiom DWFM supports clients in all areas of the law both nationally and internationally. Jonathan Williams, Private Client Manager based in Axiom’s Bristol office, predominantly deals with estate matters. His team now recommends Estatesearch’s Financial Profile search in all cases.
Jonathan Williams explained:
“I’ve used Estatesearch’s services at other law firms in the past and have been impressed. Earlier this year, I was pleased to make the introduction to the Axiom team.
Where we are the executors in a Will, we use Estatesearch’s Financial Profile search to identify all the assets and liabilities within every estate. We also recommend it for every case, but it is up to individuals if they choose to instruct the search. This often depends on how well they knew the deceased and how much they already know about the deceased’s financial affairs.
For us as a firm, Estatesearch’s Financial Profile search ensures due diligence by confirming all the assets and liabilities have been identified, in addition to offering peace of mind for our clients.
The risk of delays within a probate case can also be reduced. For example: if even a small amount is uncovered late in the day, it may need to be declared to HMRC. Additional processing can result in months of delays for the beneficiaries. Therefore, ordering Estatesearch’s Financial Profile search early on, ensures that within 30 working days we have all the information we need.
We order through Estatesearch’s secure online portal which is incredibly straightforward. Notifications are returned within the portal as institutions respond, so we quickly have an initial financial snapshot, and can write to the relevant parties straightaway, keeping clients fully informed.
Often the report confirms what we already know, and it is used to match information provided on our probate enquiry form. However, it has also uncovered both unknown assets and liabilities. For example: I recently worked on a case where the client had forgotten about a mobile contract which Estatesearch identified. Similarly, unknown shareholdings have been discovered too.
The profile search is also helpful to identify name variations. This may be a person’s maiden name for example. One historic case came to us, and the Financial Profile search we instructed identified a bank account in a variation of the deceased’s name. Previously, the high street bank had responded that they had no record of that individual. In fact, Estatesearch reported on five variations of the deceased’s name which the stepchildren were unaware of. The funds in the bank account discovered were certainly enough to warrant the investigation.
If Estatesearch’s Financial Profile search had been used at the outset, it could have reduced the timeline of the matter by four to five months, due to the domino effect of discovering and declaring the asset late in the process and then needing to communicate with HMRC and wait for their response.
If there is any friction between the beneficiaries and executors – which can happen – these sorts of delays are also best avoided! Estatesearch’s asset and liability search removes the risk of such delays.
I’ve also used the Section 27 notice within Estatesearch’s portal to advertise in the London Gazette and a local newspaper. Having everything in one place is particularly helpful.
We have also seen the benefits of Estatesearch’s Unoccupied Property Insurance. With other policies I’ve used it the past, properties have required checking periodically. Because probate cases can take up to a year and we work on cases where estates are located all over the UK, billable time can accumulate to ensure compliance. However, with Estatesearch’s Unoccupied Property Insurance, in-person checks are not necessarily required, and this reduces time spent on the account, therefore, saving money for our clients.
We also use Estatesearch’s will search function which can greatly assist at an early stage of the administration to determine whether there is a record of the deceased having made a previous or later will.
At Axiom, we have found Estatesearch’s services including the Financial Profile search invaluable to identify all the assets and liabilities within an estate. It means we can offer a best practice approach and ensure due diligence is completed on behalf of our clients at what can be a difficult time.”
For further information about Axiom DWFM please see: https://axiomdwfm.com/
For further information about Estatesearch please see: www.estatesearch.co.uk
This article was submitted to be published by Estatesearch as part of their advertising agreement with Today’s Wills and Probate. The views expressed in this article are those of the submitter and not those of Today’s Wills and Probate.