New way for solicitors to search for assets

tax assessment formAround half a million people die annually in the UK, and probate solicitors are thought to administer between 40 and 50 per cent of those deaths as probate.

Locating financial assets

Probate solicitors will carry out estate administration and pay any debts or taxes before distributing the estate to beneficiaries. 

However, a percentage of financial assets may be hidden within financial institutions and be unknown to anyone but the deceased.

Investigating an individual’s financial history may entail solicitors contacting each financial institution individually with an enquiry into the deceased’s assets. Without a clear picture of where the deceased held accounts or policies, it can be challenging, as well as time-consuming.  

Online portal

A digital financial asset platform launched by Inheritance Data explores up to 200 financial institutions and exposes lost, dormant or still active accounts and policies that are owed to a deceased individual.

After the solicitor registers an account for free and submits a single search, the asset investigation contacts a range of institutions including banks, building societies, pension providers and share schemes.

The direct responses from the asset search are compiled into a report, which shows where the deceased held accounts and policies, and includes reference numbers, departments and contact numbers via a personal portal. This will then enable the solicitor to retrieve any lost assets and potentially maximise the estate value for their clients, as well as ensure that tax calculations are based on the entirety of the estate.

One solicitor submitting four separate searches during December 2017 is said to have uncovered over £113,000 in unclaimed assets.

Find out more at


ONS statistics on deaths registered in England and Wales 2016

See also