Tracking down beneficiaries

Whether you're administering an estate according to the terms of a will or the law of intestacy, you may encounter difficulty tracking down a beneficiary. After all, people are more mobile than ever before.

From a legal standpoint you're duty bound to make certain efforts to track down a beneficiary. As with tracking down creditors, advertise in the London Gazette (England and Wales) or the Edinburgh Gazette in Scotland, or the Belfast Gazette in Northern Ireland, plus the deceased's local paper.

If you don't have any luck this way, try the following:

Tracking down beneficiariesIf you have a rough idea of where the beneficiary lives, you can advertise in their local newspaper.

Tracking down beneficiariesThe Web site www.192.com has a people finder function, which, for a fee, allows access to the electoral register database.

Tracking down beneficiariesIf the beneficiary has an uncommon name, you may be able to find them by typing the surname into the search engine www.google.co.uk.

Tracking down beneficiariesIf you know the school the beneficiary attended, try the search facility on www.friendsreunited.co.uk.

Tracking down beneficiariesCheck out www.titleresearch.com that can trace missing heirs and next of kin.

Tracking down beneficiariesIf the inheritance is substantial, hire a private detective who is used to tracking down missing people. Just don't trust anyone in a long trench coat and dark glasses calling themselves Mr Snoop.

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