Conducting genealogical research with insurance in mind

Title ResearchBy Legal Futures’ Associate Title Research

When searching for missing beneficiaries in estate administration, it’s important to conduct genealogical research with insurance in mind. If a missing beneficiary can’t be found, it’s likely that you’ll need to protect the estate from future claims by obtaining missing beneficiary indemnity insurance.

During the application process for missing beneficiary insurance, insurers will normally ask to see:

  • A genealogist’s full report
  • A copy of the Grant and Will
  • Copies of any section 27 notices that have been placed

Therefore, it’s important to keep this in mind when searching for missing beneficiaries. Additionally, it’s crucial to not to do anything that may jeopardise the likelihood of cover.

At Title Research, our clients often ask whether advertisements should be placed asking for a missing beneficiary to come forward. We will typically advise against advertising missing beneficiaries because it will place the estate or legacy in the public domain for years to come. Insurers are often reluctant to provide cover when there’s an unanswered enquiry, such as an up to now unsuccessful advertisement. If insurers will provide cover following an advertisement, they will usually require a certain amount of time to pass.

Jeff de-Rhune, Director of Trust, Probate & Estates at Trust & Probate Insurance – part of Legal & Contingency Ltd, a specialist insurance intermediary and Lloyd’s of London Coverholder – commented:

“If speculative adverts are placed and no responses are received, insurers will typically wait for a period of at least six months to pass before providing cover. This is to allow the recipient, or indeed their successors, sufficient time to respond. It is therefore important to consider whether this might affect the proposed distribution of the estate and in particular the likely distribution timeline.”

If you’re looking to instruct a genealogist to search for a missing beneficiary, ensure their research is conducted with insurance in mind. Title Research has over 50 years of experience in genealogical research and our methods are accepted by insurers. If we can’t locate the missing beneficiary, we can do the hard work for you to obtain a quote for missing beneficiary insurance, allowing you to close your case file.

Click here to find out more about how Title Research can assist you in tracing missing beneficiaries. Alternatively, call 0345 87 27 600 to discuss your case directly with a member of Title Research’s Client Services Team.


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