Fraser and Fraser marks 50 years of probate research

Founded in 1969, Fraser and Fraser has unique experience in the fields of genealogy and international probate research, meaning the firm is particularly well equipped at finding missing beneficiaries to unclaimed estates


When Nathan and Simon Fraser established their partnership in 1969, society was at a crossroads. Divorce rates were on the rise, emigration was increasingly an option for Britons and families were becoming more scattered than they had ever been in the past.

Finding missing beneficiaries was an increasingly challenging task, but the pair focused their expertise as genealogists and probate researchers to overcome such obstacles and to ensure Fraser and Fraser would become one of the best-known firms in the sector.

In 2007 leadership of the business was taken over by the next generation of Frasers, Andrew, Charles, Neil and Philippe. And, while the firm’s passion for research and willingness to innovate remain the same as they always have been, its methodologies have evolved with the digital age.

Technology has transformed the business, speeding up the search process, simplifying communication and helping to reduce costs.

Partner Neil Fraser said: ‘Over the past 50 years the firm has always focused on leading the way in the probate research industry. Throughout that time we’ve been dedicated to providing professionalism in everything we do, while delivering an increasingly diverse range of services and ensuring customer satisfaction across the board.’

While the firm has embraced the benefits of the Internet revolution, it still recognises the value of traditional forensic methods, from painstakingly sifting through physical archives, to making door-to-door enquiries to unearth a hidden clue.

Over the course of 50 years Fraser and Fraser has built up an international network, an extensive public sector business and a wide-ranging portfolio of services. Not only does the firm work closely with legal professionals in areas such as asset search and property management, it has been appointed by councils, for example Birmingham and Thanet, to search for family members of deceased individuals.

Neil Fraser added: ‘Our team approaches every case with the same high levels of energy and determination, while our long experience guarantees exceptional knowledge, accuracy and efficiency on all cases, whether they are UK-based or international.’

In recent years the probate research market has seen further changes. Whereas 20 or 30 years ago researchers might be tracking down distant relatives such as cousins once or twice removed, today they increasingly find themselves looking for near kin, such as brothers, sisters and children.

That development has been sparked by the rapid societal change in recent decades. While email and social media platforms may offer the technology to stay in touch, the reality has been different, with families increasingly vulnerable to break up and dispersion.

Against this demographic backdrop, the firm has also been a key player in calling for regulation of the probate research sector. It was instrumental in the establishment of the Association of Probate Researchers (APR), a voluntary, self-regulatory organisation established to protect both beneficiaries and solicitors from the activities of hobby genealogists and amateurs with little or no legal experience or expertise.

We will be at The Society of Will Writers Annual Conference on 7-8 October 2019 where we can answer any questions about our services and how we could help you/and your clients. Come and see us in the Exhibitors Foyer.

In the meantime, for more information, click here or give us a call on 020 7832 1400.


This article was submitted by Fraser and Fraser as part of their sponsorship package for the SWW Annual Conference. The views expressed in this article are those of the submitter and not those of The Society of Will Writers.

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The Society of Will Writers is a non-profit making self-regulatory organisation whose primary objectives are the advancement, education and ethical standards within the will writing profession.

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