Smee & Ford is an interesting company whose existence is very little known by anyone outside the world of charities. What they do is constantly search the probate registries and obtain details of wills; if they find that a charity has been left money or the whole or part of an estate it immediately notifies the charity concerned. The big charities and many of their smaller brethren will then contact the executors and make known their interest in the estate. If a charitable gift is modest, say for example a cash sum of £500, the subsequent monitoring will be fairly relaxed. If however the gift is all or a part of the estate the monitoring can be quite intense and executors can be frightened or at the very least feel a little intimidated by the “efficiency” of the officers employed by the charity. Of course it all comes down to money and the charity quite rightly wants to maximize its return, so if it is getting a share of the residue it will want to ensure that the residue is increased by making the most of the assets and minimizing the liabilities as much as it can.