As an executor you are responsible and have a legal duty to administer the deceased`s estate in accordance with their last wishes and as set out in their Will.
The role of an executor can be demanding at times particularly when you maybe coping with the grief and loss of a loved one. The matter can be further compounded by not being able to locate all the beneficiaries. Should you find yourself in this position then there are certain steps you can undertake to protect yourself and show you have made all reasonable efforts to locate them.
If you don`t you could find yourself being held liable, should they come forward in the future. The steps include:
- You should firstly contact all the deceased`s known friends and relatives to check if they can help you.
- You should place adverts known as a section 27 notice in The London Gazette and a local newspaper which will help notify any missing creditors of the estate and may also alert any missing beneficiaries out there. This will help provide you as an executor with protection against any subsequent claims allowing 2 months for them to contact you.
- You can also contact a Tracing Agent to try to locate them for you many firms specialise in tracing missing heirs.
- You can also protect yourself against liability by asking the other beneficiaries for an indemnity before distributing the estate
- You can take out an insurance policy to cover such a possibility
We can assist you with such issues and are here to provide expert legal advice to protect you from any future claims.