You have been assigned the role of an estate executor, and then after the probate is done, you realize that one of the beneficiaries cannot be found.
What do you do?
Well, as an executor of the estate, you have the task of making sure all beneficiaries get their portion as expected. This is made easy by the deceased in his will. When drafting your will, it is a requirement that you list all your beneficiaries and their location.
However, while the testator might think that the beneficiary is somewhere, in reality they might have moved out of their original location to settle somewhere else without him knowing about it.
Another reason might be the beneficiary is hard to trace due to the fact that the testator put the information wrongly.
It is a fact that some of us see our parents after several years. And since some jobs require us to move from one place to another, we end up staying at a central place which we fail to communicate to our parents, or family.
This represents a huge dilemma to the executor, because he won’t be able to trace the beneficiary to share in the parent’s estate.
As the executor, you shouldn’t distribute an estate and leave out a beneficiary without trying to ascertain where they are. Doing this is regarded as a breach of your duty and if the beneficiary turns up later on, you will have to pay him from your own pocket.
When trying to find the beneficiary, you need to make sure you keep the records of your foray. This is because when it fails, you need to show that you tried, and the records will be important in court.
Let us look at the steps to use to try and trace the beneficiary.