HAVE WE BEEN IN TOUCH?

We have contacted you to ask for your help in arranging for an unclaimed asset/entitlement to be reunited with its owner or their beneficiary. The owner/beneficiary will be you or an individual we believe is known to you.

We would welcome the opportunity to speak with you to discuss our approach to you. Rest assured we only make contact when we are confident the entitlement to an unclaimed asset or estate (lost shares, cash, pensions, property etc.) is valid.

If you are the owner/beneficiary we will require your agreement to providing you with a service pack that will comprise:

A letter explaining why we have made contact with you
A Fee Agreement form, showing your unique case reference number
A Letter of Authority and or Power of Attorney
Our service leaflet
Our terms and conditions
Complimentary pen
Reply-paid envelope

SERVICE PACK

The covering letter will provide details of who we are and what we do. It will explain that we have consulted public records and conducted enquiries in order to find you because we believe that you have an entitlement to some sort of unclaimed asset, such as an unclaimed insurance policy, dormant bank or saving account, pension or SAYE plan, or equity investment or related asset (such as dividends) or have an unclaimed entitlement to a deceased’s estate. The asset/estate in question is likely to be held in trust by an organisation (such as a public company or institution or local authority) that has engaged our services to help them maintain their statutory obligations and/or for other reasons, such as ‘good governance’.

Your consumer rights are important to us, and you have a choice as to whether or not to engage our service; you are not obliged to us in any way when your service pack is sent to you. Although we may have expended considerable time, effort and skill in tracing your current whereabouts and finally making contact, you will not be asked for payment of any sort unless and until you have agreed to proceed with our service.

We believe that this approach allows us to provide our service to as many people as possible, without compromising the rights of the consumer. We are also keen to ensure that anyone receiving our service pack does not mistakenly believe it to be sent directly from the organisation holding the estate or asset in trust, in case this encourages the person receiving it to believe they must respond positively.

For our unclaimed assets cases it is for these reasons, we do not disclose precisely who we are acting on behalf of, or precisely what the asset in question is in your entitlement claim pack.

We would not however be attempting to contact you if there was not good reason, our terms and conditions allow for our fee(s) to be waived entirely in the event that you already know about the entitlement in question.

USING OUR SERVICE

To start using our service, all you need to do is sign and return the Fee Agreement form along with the Power of Attorney and/or Letter of Authority.

By signing the Agreement Form you are agreeing to all our terms and conditions — laid out in the Agreement Form itself and in our standard terms and conditions. A copy of our terms and conditions should be in the service pack provided though if one has not been sent to you, or if you need a copy in large print, please call us and we will be happy to send you a copy that day (either by post or email). The terms and conditions include details of under what circumstances our fee(s) will and will not be payable if you have agreed to proceed with our service.

Details of the fee(s) applicable to your case will be shown on your Fee Agreement form — for more details of our fees please see our Fees page. You will be agreeing to pay these fees if you decide to proceed with your valid* entitlement claim.

TIME TO PROCESS YOUR CLAIM

Once you have agreed to proceed with our service, confirmed your identity, provided any additional information or documentation required to progress your case AND the 14 days cancellation period has expired (or been waived by you), then we will start the process of claiming your entitlement. As part of this a report will be made to the organisation we are working on behalf of (where applicable) to inform them that we have been successful in locating the right individual and will provide them details of the research work we have undertaken.

You should then expect payment to be made directly to you within a set time period. Confirmation of the exact length of time you should expect to wait will be given as soon as we have confirmation of the validity of your claim, and will typically be anywhere between four to twelve weeks, though can be much longer. Various factors affect the length of time it takes to recover the unclaimed asset/estate and arrange payment to you, including the size and nature of the asset(s) and where it is held.

Note that in cases where the monetary value is high (typically over £10,000) it may also be necessary to obtain a Grant of Probate, which can take considerably longer, and attract a separate charge (‘probate fee’).

In all cases however, your case manager will be on hand to provide all the information and answer any questions that you may have at any time, and will always be working to ensure the whole process takes no more time than is absolutely necessary.

Wherever possible final payment will be made by bank transfer.

* Note that an unclaimed asset case is only considered valid when we have demonstrably provided a service about an entitlement to a client who had no prior knowledge of the asset.

DISCLOSURE

Upon verification of your claim being valid, and an up-to-date valuation of the asset(s) /estate obtained, a full disclosure of entitlement will be made. At this point we will disclose, by way of a client statement of account; confirming the value of the case/estate based on the up-to-date valuation received on the asset(s) and/or liabilities’ (if any) involved, and any past recoverable income identified. You will be given the opportunity to realise the entitlements into a cash sum in full, in part, or to retain the asset(s) entirely — where it is appropriate to do so.

For unclaimed assets it is at this point, once full disclosure has been made, that you may contest our right to a commission if you believe we are not entitled to our ‘success fee’ — no fee will have been taken up until now. If we have provided information on an entitlement that is already known to you then we will happily accept this and will not apply a charge for our work (although we may then separately assist you in relation to the recovery of another asset or assets). All that we require is documentary evidence that clearly demonstrates your existing knowledge (as per our standard terms and conditions). A fee may still be applied to any past recoverable income dependant on the nature of the documentary evidence provided.

In the event that you are satisfied as to the service we have provided, we will then proceed as instructed to conclude the case, bringing matters to a close and finally making a distribution if we have been asked to oversee the recovery. In most cases, our clients will ask us to attend to the realisation of the asset(s) identified, this element of our service is not charged for. See: Fees and Commissions

Find our more about our range of services offered

SEE CLIENT SERVICES

Quick access to our forms and written resources

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CASE STUDY: RESEARCH USING FAMILY RECORDS — L was a bachelor and his only prized possession when he died was an invitation to a Graduation Dinner and Dance for the No.33 Air Navigation School, Royal Air Force at Mount Hope, which had belonged to his brother. Sadly after graduating in February 1944 his brother had lost his life when his plane was hit by flak and flew into a hill on 1st January 1945. By researching the death of his brother, we discovered a short descriptive article on his life which confirmed who his parents were. This greatly assisted Treethorpe in tracing the beneficiaries to this gentleman’s estate.

Any information you can give us will be greatly appreciated, and may well help ensure the individual in question (or an heir) is (re-)united with an entitlement they might otherwise never benefit from.

If you can help, please do contact the Cases Manager who has been in touch with you directly or call our office number +44 (0) 20 8914 8317, alternatively email us at enquiries@treethorpe.com

See our newly published ‘What You Need to Know’ brochure:

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