Tracing Beneficiaries

Locating Beneficiaries – How National Person Finder Helps

Around 300,000 people die intestate every year in the UK. In such cases executors have an unenviable task in trying to establish the appropriate beneficiaries. Even where a will has been made, executors are responsible for ensuring that the estate is distributed to the correct beneficiaries which is a serious job in itself, but can become profoundly difficult when beneficiaries have gone missing. The process is clear – all reasonable efforts must be made to identify and locate missing beneficiaries so enquiries must be made with friends and relatives and advertisements must be taken in papers local to the beneficiary’s last known location.

Locating Beneficiaries – The Risks of Failure

The risks are clear:

  • if an estate is distributed and a beneficiary appears later, they can hold the executors personally liable to pay what they are owed
  • if there are likely to be unknown beneficiaries (such as illegitimate children) executors can also find themselves facing claims from those individuals if they emerge within twelve years after the estate has been disbursed.

Insurance can be taken out against such circumstances, but it is expensive and complex in itself.

A Benjamin Order can be sought, which gives legal permission to distribute an estate on the basis that any missing beneficiary has died. However, Benjamin Orders are expensive and difficult to obtain so they are only applicable to high net worth estates.

This is where National Person Finder comes in:

Solicitors and executors rarely have the skills or expertise to undertake effective beneficiary location work. Specialist skills are required to undertake the search for lost and missing beneficiaries. We call on the following resources:

  • our well-developed investigative skills,
  • in-house databases and specialist subscription databases,
  • ancestral investigation and family history research under the supervision of a genealogical specialist,
  • a network of trained detectives around the globe to follow up on leads.

Locating Beneficiaries – The Solution

We are equipped and skilled in locating beneficiaries, saving executors stress and heartache and their legal advisers considerable time and expense.