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A world first, The UK Probate Research Awards will celebrate the achievements and examples of excellence across forensic genealogy, with the inaugural event taking place on 7 February 2019 at The Mermaid, Puddle Dock, London.

The Awards, supported by Aviva Legal Indemnities and the National Association of Licenced Paralegals (NALP), have been created in recognition that probate research has emerged as a profession, which provides a constant stream of good news stories while providing an invaluable public service. Welcome windfalls and reunification of families are regular events, while instrumental research and essential services support the legal world.

Directors from the International Association of Professional Probate Researchers and Genealogists (IAPPR) commented: “Recognising the work of individuals who serve in this fascinating industry, both locally and abroad, is long overdue not least due to the invaluable support it provides to Government agencies and the legal industry, but also to families around the world.”

Amanda Hamilton, chief executive of NALP, commented: “The UK Probate Research Awards is instrumental in attracting and promoting probate genealogy as a rich and rewarding career path for paralegals, so we are delighted to promote an initiative raising the profile of the industry.”

The Awards, to be presented by Nikki Bedi, writer and presenter of the Arts Hour on BBC World Service, in addition to regular on BBC 4’s Loose Ends, Woman’s Hour and BBC London, has been organised by Meerkat PR – the public relations firm specialising in national press exposure to companies around the UK.  Meerkat PR’s director, David Stoch, commented: “Stories from the world of probate genealogy have gained increasing public interest as the industry has upped its profile, not least through the national press but also recent TV docudramas.  Therefore, we’ll be celebrating the strides taken to raise the industry out of the dark ages of fringe legal support services to what it’s really about – families, history and dying wishes being fulfilled.”

Age UK, the UK’s largest charity supporting older people, are to benefit from the proceeds of a silent auction on the Awards night.

Nominations for entries close on 20 January 2019.

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