Mencap Inherits From Heir Hunters Success

Fraser & Fraser, the genealogy firm featured in BBC1’s Heir Hunters, has donated its fee from the case of Michael Moore, who had a learning disability, to Mencap. The learning disability charity also received half of Michael’s estate from one of his surviving nieces, Barbara Pooley.

The programme, broadcast on 9 February, saw the firm’s researchers trace the relatives of Michael who died last year at the age of 60 without making a will. As part of the programme, David Congdon, Mencap’s Head of campaigns and policy, commented on the change in attitudes towards people with a learning disability since Michael’s childhood in the fifties.

Michael’s parents made the decision to raise him at home with his sister, at a time when most children with a learning disability were sent to live in long-term institutions.

David Congdon said:”We are very grateful to both Fraser & Fraser and Mrs. Pooley for making this kind gesture. Michael grew up at a time when people with a learning disability were largely kept on the fringes of society. While much progress has been made since then, we are still working hard to change attitudes and these donations will help us to continue our work.”

Neil Fraser, Partner at Fraser & Fraser said that giving up the firm’s fee on this case was a simple decision. “Michael was brought up by his parents with the help of charities including Mencap, and their efforts for Michael to lead a secure and happy life that were continued after they passed away. This enabled Michael to continue to live a fulfilled life, be well liked and play a real part in the community. We are delighted to contribute to others benefitting from the organisation’s fantastic work in the same way as Michael did.”

Mencap offers a free wills and trusts information service to families and carers of people with a learning disability. For more information please contact them on 020 7696 6925 or by email: Information is also available at

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