Beneficiaries of an Estate

In this section, references to personal representative means a partner of S&B, acting as personal representative of the estate.

As personal representative, we are the data controller. This means we are responsible for deciding how we hold and use personal data about you (sometimes we refer to this as just data). This privacy notice sets out certain information we must provide under the General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR).

References to testator means the individual who has died and under whose will you benefit.

References to special category data mean data that reveals your racial or ethnic origin, your political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership, genetic or biometric data or any information concerning your sex life or sexual orientation, or your health.

During the administration of the estate, as well as acting as personal representative, we may also exercise the powers of trustees of any trusts arising under the will of the deceased or under the statutory intestacy rules (whether in our capacity as personal representative with power to exercise trustee powers or whether as trustee). This privacy notice will apply to the exercise of those powers.

Types of data we collect

In connection with the administration of the estate, we will collect any data:

  • set out in the will and any supplementary documents, which may include special category data,
  • you provide to us during the administration of the estate, such as your bank account details to enable us to make a payment to you and you contact details such as your email address and mobile number,
  • set out in any letter of wishes addressed to us by the testator, which may include special category data,
  • you provide to us in connection with registering with HMRC’s Trust Registration Service your interest in a trust arising under the estate,
  • you provide to us to verify your identity, such as your passport details (including passport image), your address and date of birth.

We may also collect CCTV images and information about your health if you visit S&B’s premises.

How we collect your data

We will collect your data from the following sources:

  • the testator,
  • publicly accessible sources, e.g. Companies House or HM Land Registry,
  • directly from a third party, e.g. credit reference agencies, fraud prevention agencies, client due diligence providers, sanctions screening providers and bankruptcy search providers,
  • from a third party with your consent, e.g.:
    • your bank or building society, another financial institution or advisor,
    • consultants and other professionals we may engage in relation to your interest in the estate.

How and why we use your data

Under data protection law, we can only use your data if we have a legal ground for doing so, e.g.:

  • for the performance of our contract of engagement as personal representative,
  • to comply with our legal and regulatory obligations,
  • for our legitimate interests or those of a third party, or
  • where you have given us your consent.

A legitimate interest is when we have a business or commercial reason to use your data, provided this is not overridden by your own rights and interests.

We will use your data to:

  • communicate with you,
  • assess your beneficial entitlement,
  • carry out bankruptcy searches before making distributions to you, and
  • comply with our legal and regulatory obligations (including but not limited to checks to verify your identity and anti-money laundering checks).

We may process special category data to help us comply with the wishes of the testator, to enable us to identify and protect your rights as a beneficiary, where necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims on your behalf, where necessary in the interests of public health or otherwise in accordance with the GDPR.

Data sharing

In addition to the information set out on our privacy page, your data may also be shared with the following third parties for the purposes of administering the estate:

  • professional advisors acting for the estate, e.g. solicitors, barristers, medical professionals, accountants, actuaries, tax advisors or other experts (who are under duties of confidentiality),
  • external service providers required for the purposes of administering the Estate, e.g. valuers, plumbers, locksmiths,
  • credit reference agencies and bankruptcy search providers,
  • out insurers and brokers,
  • our bank,
  • the FSCS, in the event our bank collapses and we need to make a claim on your behalf.

International transfers

It is sometimes necessary to share your data outside the UK, e.g.:

  • with our service providers located outside the UK,
  • if you are based outside the UK,
  • where this is an international dimension to the estate, e.g. assets based abroad.

These transfers are subject to special rules under data protection law. Click here for more details.


We will keep your data after we have finished acting as personal representative or after your interest in any trust arising under the estate terminates, either to:

  • respond to any questions or concerns raised by you or on your behalf, or
  • keep records required by law.

We will not retain your data for longer than necessary for the purposes set out in this notice. Different retention periods apply to our various practice areas and types of matter. If you would like to know the retention period for a specific matter, please contact our DPO.

Your rights

Under certain circumstances, you have rights in relation to your personal data, including the right to:

  • Request access to your personal data – you may receive a copy of the personal data we hold about you.
  • Request correction of the personal data we hold about you – we will correct any incomplete or inaccurate data we hold about you.
  • Request erasure of your personal data – you may ask us to delete or remove personal data where there is no good reason for us continuing to process it.
  • Object to processing of your personal data where we are relying on a legitimate interest and there is something about your particular situation which makes you want to object on this ground.
  • Request restriction of processing of your personal data – you may ask us to suspend the processing of personal data about you, for example if you want us to establish its accuracy or the reason for processing.
  • Request the transfer of your personal data to another party.
  • Withdraw consent in the limited circumstances where you have provided your consent to the collection, processing and transfer of your personal data. After we have received notification that you have withdrawn your consent in relation to a particular purpose, we will no longer process your information for that purpose, unless we have another legitimate basis for doing so in law.
  • Lodge a complaint regarding the processing of your personal data with the Information Commissioner’s Office or any other relevant supervisory authority.

Contact us

If you want to exercise any of the above rights, please contact: 

Individuals in the UK or outside the EEA

Data Protection Officer, Stevens & Bolton LLP, Wey House, Farnham Road, Guildford, Surrey, GU1 4YD.

Individuals in the EEA

Our EU Representative is Pembroke Privacy Ltd., 3-4 Upper Pembroke Street, Dublin 2, Ireland.

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