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Why might your probate clients have lost assets in their estates?

Investigating into a deceased’s finances is a large part of a probate solicitor or estate administrator’s job during estate administration. But did you know that there is reported to be up to £1.2 billion of unclaimed assets in UK bank accounts alone?

 How is there such a big pot of cash hidden within financial institutions and why does unclaimed money not always surface during probate?

 Finances can become unclaimed and lost for several reasons, but the main causes tend to be unreported changes of address, ceases of activity on your account and inadequate record keeping. 

According to research in the last few years from Zoopla, Brits are reported to move home every 8.63 years and each time a person moves, financial institutions expect to be updated with a new address for communication purposes. In amongst the chaos and stress of moving, it can be easy to forget to inform each institution of your relocation. But failing to do so can result in lost financial assets.

 On average an individual has 12 jobs during their lifetime, according to 2019 research from the Bureau Of Labour Statistics and this can be another catalyst for hidden assets. If a person is contributing towards a pension scheme from each job they’ve worked in, savings from their earlier employment can be simple to overlook, especially if no documentation can be found. The Financial Times Adviser reports that one in five Brits have lost a pension pot.

 If a person elects not to withdraw, deposit or use a specific account, it can be categorised as inactive. HSBC states that, “an inactive or dormant account is one that hasn’t been used in at least 6 months. Inevitably, since these accounts are not being checked regularly, they pose a significant risk of being involved in a fraudulent transaction.” This is a further way in which financial assets can be lost.

 The solution

 The Inheritance Data financial asset search has been engineered to thoroughly explore 200 financial institutions which accounts for 350 databases and unearths concealed accounts and policies which may have been previously missed. The investigation is tailored to expose any assets belonging to the deceased, whether the accounts are lost, dormant or still active, all via our industry leading secure portal. The portal offers 24/7 access to the probate professional to monitor results and act to recover the assets as responses from financial institutions are returned.

 In one click of the Inheritance Data’s cost neutral search, probate solicitors ad estate administrators can ensure no asset is missed, maximise the value of their client’s estate and save themselves the time and inconvenience of contacting each financial institution individually.

 To find out more about the service, please visit

or contact Emma Baddaley at

You can read more about Probate in Rocket Lawyer’s legal guide and create your Last will and testament with Rocket Lawyer for free.

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