Frequently Asked Questions
The following FAQs relate to GDPR and the following services from Smee & Ford Ltd:
GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) came into effect on 25 May 2018. The UK is expected to continue with the key principles of GDPR once it leaves the European Union. We will monitor and adapt our processes as and when necessary in the future to remain compliant.
Smee & Ford Ltd is registered as a primary source data controller with the ICO – registration number: Z2618656.
We process the name and postal address (where provided) of executors and or beneficiaries contained within UK wills and grants of probate. If you are subscribing to the Named service for England & Wales we also provide you with a copy of the will
Once probate is granted, Smee & Ford Ltd analyses the information contained in a deceased’s will, extracts information about charitable bequests and notifies its charity clients about applicable bequests. Smee & Ford processes this limited personal data about the executors and beneficiaries described in such wills.
We process the name and postal address (where provided) of executors and or beneficiaries contained within UK wills and grants of probate. For our named service (for English & Welsh wills only) we also included a copy of the will.
We process this personal data when it is in our, and our clients’, legitimate interests to do so, and when these interests are not overridden by applicable individuals’ data protection rights. We also process this personal data when required by law, such as if we receive a request from law enforcement or other government officials.
We have taken care to carry out a Legitimate Interest Assessment for this service balancing the processing of this data and the legal obligations of executors where a charity has been named in a will. Please see below for your responsibilities as a data controller once the data is received by yourselves. Please also note that only the Named Service provides copies of the Will files for English/Welsh estates – this commenced July 2019.
We do not process executor details in our discretionary notification files. We do however notify charities of these charitable bequests and process details of the deceased person as well as the relevant details of the gift. Please note that only the Named Service provides copies of the Will files for English/Welsh estates – this commenced July 2019.
In relation to GDPR, you are a Data Controller and you will need to define the legal basis for which you will be holding/using any data from the Smee & Ford notification service and corresponding wills. You will also need to carry out any relevant legitimate interest assessment processes.
This is dependent on the nature of your business, the relevance of your products/service and the purpose of your processing and any communications you intend to send.
If you are contacting named executors you need to ensure that you are only sending highly relevant communications where you have established a legitimate interest in making contact about a specific bequest and taking all necessary measures to minimise any harassment or distress to the recipient.
Smee & Ford recommend particular caution in contacting executor relatives of the deceased and make particular efforts to highlight any personal relationships such as these within our notifications.
We recommend that you refer to the information from the ICO and DMA to help establish your legal basis for contacting executors identified via the S&F notification services.
ICO & Legitimate Interest and DMA Guide to Legitimate Interest