GDPR data legislation arrived on the 25th May 2018. Please find below some frequently asked questions relating to GDPR and the following services from Smee & Ford Ltd:

  • Smee &Ford - Named & Trusts - Notification Service
  • Smee & Ford - Discretionary - Notification Service

What is GDPR?

GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is a new European data protection regulation that replaces current data protection laws and comes into effect on 25 May 2018. The UK is expected to continue with the key principles of GDPR once it leaves the European Union (expected by Summer 2019). We will monitor closely and adapt our processes as and when necessary in the future to remain compliant.

What is Smee & Ford’s role as a data owner?

Smee & Ford Ltd is registered as a primary source data controller with the ICO – registration number: Z2618656.

What personal data do we process?

We process the name and postal address (where provided) of executors and or beneficiaries contained within UK wills and grants of probate.

What do we do with this personal data?

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.

What lawful bases do we rely on?

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.

Will Smee & Ford Named & Trust Services Change?

No. 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. The service will continue to function as per normal. Please see below for your responsibilities as a data controller once the data is received by yourselves.

Will the Smee & Ford Discretionary Service Change?

Yes. We have taken the carefully considered decision to no longer supply executor details for this particular service. We will however continue to notify charities of these charitable bequests and process details of the deceased person as well as the relevant details of the gift.

To use these notifications to best effect charities may obtain their own copies of any wills from the courts service by clicking here: Please note that charities currently on this service will be contacted with further details.

What do Smee & Ford clients need to do post-25th May 2018?

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 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 (links below) to help establish your legal basis for contacting executors identified via the S&F notification services.

Further information and resources ICO & Legitimate Interest and Guide to Legitimate Interest If you have any questions regarding your subscription to Smee & Ford please contact us at