When somebody dies, it can be very difficult to locate all their financial assets.
In our last blog about lost pensions, we discussed that people change jobs and change addresses frequently. Bearing this in mind, next of kin and family members cannot be counted on to locate all the deceased person’s financial assets.
In this blog, you will see 7 reasons why a Financial Asset Search will be beneficial for you and your clients.
Keeps your clients compliant with HMRC
Once you have confirmed that you have located all assets, you can fill in HMRC forms correctly. Incorrectly filled HMRC forms can incur penalties. Therefore, a financial asset search mitigates HMRC fines for understating inheritance tax.
Financial Asset Search saves you time
Doing a thorough Financial Asset Search saves time on administration backlog. Recent research by Inheritance Data shows that 2-5% of shares and 10 % of pensions are missed during the time of administration. Through locating financial assets that even the deceased forgot about, you will save lots of time down the line.
As a personal representative, our search has a live reporting feature which means that you can investigate new assets promptly and efficiently.
Saves you money
There are increased government pressures to repatriate ‘lost accounts’ and locate lost account holders. This can be 5 or maybe 10 years down the line. If a Financial Asset Search has not been done, the solicitor/executor will need to reopen the case to distribute funds. This could incur further costs to the estate.
Shows your due diligence
When dealing with somebody’s estate the beneficiaries want to know that you have checked every single possible financial asset of the deceased. With a financial asset search, you have access to a full thorough search. As a personal representative, using Inheritance Data’s search complies with the Administration of Estates Act 1925. As a personal representative you will receive a Financial Asset Search report. This provides a comprehensive one-page document. This can be used as evidence of due diligence if ever required by HMRC or beneficiaries in the future.
Shows your best practice
Doing a financial asset search shows to clients that you acted in best practice. It also shows that you acted in the best interests of the estate by locating any dormant accounts, lost pensions or other financial assets. One of the benefits of using Inheritance Data is that it’s the only search provider that can offer a thorough search of Equiniti, Computershare and Link for Share Holdings.
Maximises the value of the estate
As an executor, one of your responsibilities is to maximise the value of the estate. Doing a thorough financial asset search means that you can locate assets that would have been previously missed. For instance, a person could have a pension from a previous employer that is now worth tens of thousands. People can forget about things such as pensions and shares because they are for the ‘future’. Therefore, nobody knows about these assets unless a thorough Financial Asset Search is done. In maximising an estate, this will increase the estate value and entitlements due to residual beneficiaries including charities.
Minimising your risk and liability
As an executor or solicitor, conducting an asset search reduces your risk during and after the time of administration. Firstly, by using a financial asset search tool, you will benefit from doing a methodical and thorough search. By making sure that you have searched all possible assets of the deceased, our unique warranty protects an executor from any additional costs should a new asset come to light.
To make use of out tailor-made platform, please REGISTER or contact us on 01603 673250 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a demonstration.