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Case Study: Morrisons Solicitors

• By admin-account on September 9th, 2020 •

The Financial Profile Service has helped Morrisons Solicitors identify additional assets in a number of difficult matters. Most recently £57,000 in an unknown bank account.

Morrisons Solicitors are a modern, forward thinking law firm based in the heart of Surrey led by Holly Chantler who is a Director of both Solicitors for the Elderly and Professional Deputies Forum. The Court of Protection team work to deliver a highly personalised and empathic service helping vulnerable clients through difficult situations.

Case Study 1

Sutton Council requested Morrisons Solicitors to make an application for Holly Chantler to be appointed as Deputy for P, who having lost capacity had no close family or friends able to fulfil the role. With limited knowledge of P, Morrisons instructed Estatesearch to undertake their Financial Profile Service to help secure P’s financial assets and liabilities and notify financial institutions in accordance with their duties outlined in the Professional Deputy Standards.

The Financial Profile Service includes initial due diligence to verify current personal details and trace previous names and addresses, helping identify lost and dormant accounts associated with previous details. However, in this matter our due diligence also identified an alternative date of birth used in documentation. Further checks quickly confirmed banking details registered against the identified date of birth identified by Estatesearch, with subsequent enquiries confirming the original date of birth supplied had been collected by P’s social worker based on unreliable information available at the time.

As a result of Estatesearch’s due diligence, Morrisons were able to make their application to the Court of Protection. Having the correct details allowed Morrisons to properly manage the affairs of P, and to identify P’s accounts with financial institutions as a result of providing the correct personal details. Failure to identify the correct date of birth would inevitably led to financial institutions searching records incorrectly and being unable to provide correct account matches.

In this matter the Financial Profile Service ultimately helped Morrisons identify £57,000 in a bank account that had previously gone unidentified.

Sarah Ahchoon, Solicitor at Morrisons Solicitors, said “We use the Financial Profile Service at the start of all Deputyship applications to the Court of Protection matters. It helps us enables us to complete the COP1A as required by the Court of Protection, satisfy the Professional Deputies Standards and ensure we secure all of P’s assets. The search is invaluable where not much is known about P’s affairs and in this matter, the Service further determined P’s true date of birth which otherwise would have meant not only that our application would have been incorrect but we were likely to have failed in identifying all of the estate accounts.”

Case Study 2

A Morrisons client had lost capacity as result of a brain injury in the late 1990’s. Her son initially took up the position of Deputy, managing her financial affairs and after the death of P’s husband, the entire family moved overseas. Twenty years on, her needs became more complicated and the family moved P back to the UK. In doing so her son sensibly renounced his Deputyship, and with no other family in the UK, a Panel Deputy was appointed. 

The son provided very little information to the newly-appointed Panel Deputy and with P having been overseas for 20 years there was very limited information regarding her finances or even personal details, such as past addresses. The Panel Deputy asked for our help and instructed an Estatesearch Financial Profile report to help understand P’s financial affairs better. 

Owing to the lengthy period overseas there were limited accounts in existence. However, our report identified an active annuity with a pension provider. Some suspicions were raised when it was indicated previous payments being made to an unknown account. Nevertheless, the Panel Deputy was duly notified and assumed control of the assets redirecting payments accordingly. 

Two weeks later, the pension provider contacted the Panel Deputy, to alert them they had received an unusual email asking why the annuity payments had stopped. The enquiry had originated from the son, who had previously reported that he knew of no assets.

Holly Chantler, Head of Private Client at Morrisons Solicitors, said “The Estatesearch Financial Profile Service gives us a comprehensive and robust due diligence process at the click of a button. Using a combination of data and technology goes beyond what we could reasonably achieve otherwise and Estatesearch have helped us identify additional assets in difficult Court of Protection matters.” 


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