Association of Probate Researchers (APR):

Since August 2016 all of our UK and US Case Managers and Partners (Neil and Andrew Fraser) are now regulated by APR. All case managers hold a PPR practising certificate and follow best practise methods, and are covered by their independent complaint’s procedure as well as compensation.

 

The probate research industry is unregulated and APR was set up as a voluntary, self-regulatory body which aims to raise standards and to offer protection to beneficiaries from hobby genealogists and amateurs with very little or no legal training and experience.

 

APR is a recognised body of the Professional Paralegal Register (PPR) and its members are regulated by the PPR scheme.

 

In 2016, one of the partners formed The Association of Probate Researchers (APR), to bring voluntary regulation to the industry, APR in turn is a recognised body of the Professional Paralegal Register (PPR). The PPR is a voluntary registered scheme to promote professional paralegals as a recognised fourth arm of the legal profession and to enhance consumer choice and protection. Only Paralegals that are on this register are regulated by PPR. This makes Fraser and Fraser one of very few firms who are truly independently regulated for the work we carry out. All of Fraser and Fraser case managers hold a practising certificate (PPC) and are on the PPR register. Paralegals who are on the Register are regulated in terms of their professional conduct however, Professional Paralegals who hold a Paralegal Practising Certificate (PPC) are fully regulated to offer legal services to consumers. The customer of a member holding a PPC is also covered by the compensation scheme.

 

For more information about APR please visit: www.a-p-r.org

 

Regulations

 

ISO 9001 and ISO 27001: Independently audited twice a year for continuing compliance with international standards of Quality Management (ISO 9001) and Information Security Management (ISO 27001) certification.

 

School Sites Act: After taking a case to the House of Lords over who was entitled to an estate, Fraser and Fraser won the case. Five Law Lords ruled unanimously that the successors of the donors of land for a school site were entitled to the proceeds when the school closed.

  • Fraser and Fraser are the only genealogy firm ever to take a case to the House of Lords
  • This demonstrates our meticulous attention to detail and justifies our methodology

How you receive your money

The majority of the money that we distribute will be in the form of a cheque. In most cases the money will come directly from Fraser and Fraser which will include all fees and costs being deducted beforehand.

 

Fraser and Fraser’s fee is always calculated on the net amount. This is important to know as there are some known companies that offer what appears to be a lower fee, but in fact, they calculate this on the ‘gross’ value. Taking the fee in this way could leave you owing more money in fees then you receive.

 

We are able to offer you payments in alternative currencies and have exchange contracts in place with several FX brokers, to ensure that you will receive a very competitive rate.

 

As with every rule there are the exceptions and occasionally money will be paid directly to you without any fee being deducted, in these cases please inform us of the exact amount you receive and we will issue you an invoice. We always ask you to confirm the value so that our invoice can be calculated precisely and we don’t bill too much.

Tax

In most situations the Tax should have been paid prior to you receiving money, however this is not always the case. An estate or asset that has been recovered may be liable for Inheritance Tax (if the value of the estate is above £325,000), Capital Gains Tax particularly if the money recovered is in relation to shares, or property that wasn’t your principal residence. Share dividends may also be liable for dividend Tax if you are, or were a higher tax payer at the time the dividend was issued, and finally any pension that is recovered may be liable for income Tax.
Fraser and Fraser will tell you if we think tax may have to be paid but you will need to consult an independent advisor as we are legally unable to offer advice or guidance on financial affairs or Tax.

Proof of ID, money laundering and bankruptcy checks

Before we can pay money out it is a requirement that we conduct some checks.

 

We need to confirm your identification and address. Most of the time this will have already been done when the unclaimed assets are claimed, however we will always conduct an electronic check of residents of the UK or ask for a copy of your passport and proof of address for overseas beneficiaries.

 

It is estimated that almost £60 billion is laundered through the UK every year. Under the Money Laundering Regulations 2007, the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and the Terrorism Act 2000, we are required to perform some checks, these are all done electronically and we will need to have obtained you consent to perform this check.
We ensure your details are not registered as a bankruptcy, having obtained a Debt Relief Order or an Individual Voluntary Arrangements;

 

If you are or have been bankrupt, have obtained a Debt Relief Order or an Individual Voluntary Arrangements, it is vital that you let us know as soon as possible.