Estate Research

Corporate Partner

Estate Research is a long-established firm of genealogists offering services to both the Private Client Wills and Probate Sector and Public Sector bodies including NHS trusts and local authorities.

We have worked with over 3,000 private client solicitors and over 1,000 Public Sector bodies over 21 years. As a result, we have dealt with thousands of cases involving charities and bequests where we have ensured that solicitors are able to distribute legacy donations correctly.

Our charity legacy services range from locating next of kin and/or missing beneficiaries, to ensuring an estate, including any legacy donations, can be distributed without delay, as well as Will searches and free property sales to guarantee legacy donations are maximised where possible.

An example of work ensuring legacy donations were distributed was a case in early 2021 where Estate Research was instructed to act in the Estate of a Deceased and to locate two named charities whose existence were unknown. Namely the Hartland Wildlife Rescue and The Centre for Fortean Zoology.

Initial research was positive, we located a potential charity shop address but unfortunately contact attempts were not successful. We undertook further research and found a twitter account linking to ANOTHER Hartland Rescue twitter account , the latter account containing a link to a story about a deaf fox. We then found a BBC article mentioning the same story which referenced “Hartland Wildlife Rescue” and listed the name of a person who we believed the be the owner of Hartland Wildlife. We traced the individual and the solicitors made contact. By luck, it also transpired that the owner we identified happened to know someone at the Fortean centre so we were able to contact both charities and administer the estate in full. If we had simply insured this matter, neither party would have received their funds.

In addition, Estate Research provides free searches and guidance for legal professionals in all areas of estate administration – ensuring they complete HMCTS forms correctly thus avoiding delays and  the risk of incorrect estate distributions which could lead to fines/complaints.

We also provide free online training with expert speakers to Private Client practitioners – offering legacy professionals the opportunity to continue their professional development at home or in the office and for free.  Previous speakers have included Professor Lesley King, Gill Steel, Helen Clarke and Patricia Wass. They can join the online training events as live webinars or watching recordings on our website at

Get in touch

Visit our website at
Telephone: 01942 826500
Contact our Private Client team at or our public sector team at