Fraser and Fraser is one of the world’s largest firms of professional genealogists and international probate researchers, and a Corporate Member of the Association of Probate Researchers (APR).
We provide specialist research and support services to the legal professions by tracing missing beneficiaries to unclaimed estates worldwide. With over 90 years of experience, we have built up a network of European offices and developed partnerships and working relationships with leading genealogists around the world.
We are proud to be a founding member of the Association of Probate Researchers - a regulatory body focused on bringing transparency and professionalism to the industry.
Prior to the creation of the APR, the provision of probate research was unregulated, with many amateur companies and hobby genealogists emerging since the popular BBC1 TV show “Heir Hunters” initially aired in 2007. The APR was created in light of this, to safeguard our legal clients and beneficiaries by ensuring that those handling these sensitive matters have the knowledge, experience and capability to do so.
The APR is a recognised body under the Professional Paralegal Register (PPR). To qualify as an APR member the applicant must have a minimum of four years’ experience within the genealogy and probate research industry and show evidence of having worked on 100 cases or estates. The APR’s status under the PPR allows Case Managers to hold a PPR practising certificate whilst they follow guidelines and code of conduct set out by the APR and PPR. Other firms who are not members of the APR are not regulated under the PPR scheme for probate research work.
How can we help?
Working alongside the legal profession, banks and a number of divisions within the public sector, each referral is treated on a case-by-case basis, as we pride ourselves on our commitment and clarity. Our clients are diverse and so are their requests, which is why we offer a wide range of services.
Finding Missing Beneficiaries
The research process involves: local enquiries, birth, death and marriage indexes search, historical family trees and in-house library, technology, people-finding software and international partnerships to enable us to locate missing heirs.
Missing Beneficiaries Insurance
We can obtain quotes from partnered insurance companies for ultimate protection to executors, administrators and beneficiaries against a claim being made on the estate by any unknown part of the family after it has been distributed.
Will Search Service
Search for both registered and unregistered wills in the UK. A number of methods are used including: Certainty (REACH, National Wills Register, Missing Will Notice Board), contacting local Will Writers (members of the Institute of Professional Will Writers and the Society of Will Writers) as well as checking with the Probate Registry safe custody clerk.
We also offer:
- Certificate Ordering Services
- Missing Will Insurance
- Research Assessment
- Asset Reunification
- Share Valuations, Medallion Signature Guarantee, Isle of Man or Channel Island Grant of Probate, and transfer or sell shares
- Probate Valuations and Sales
- Empty Property Insurance
- Nil Rate Band Check
- Bankruptcy Searches
We offer a choice of several fee options and can undertake research either time-spent or contingency basis. This means that you maintain control of costs at all times by choosing the option that you feel is appropriate for your client.
We will assign a dedicated and experienced Case Manager to oversee every aspect of your case, all of whom are are members of the Association of Probate Research and are regulated by the Professional Paralegal Register. They will act as your point of contact and will provide updates as the research progresses and report to you on our findings.