Delving into the pasts of others is a standard part of administering an estate. Upon lifting the lid, there is no telling what stories are going to emerge or how many beneficiaries will be identified. Even when the estate has been distributed, there is always a chance that someone might come forward with a claim which will complicate matters.

With this in mind, what measures do you take in order to protect yourself and the beneficiaries of the estates you are handling?

Having received instruction, one of the leading Genealogy and Probate Research firms recently got to work on a case that involved looking back over the history of a family famed for their pioneering contribution to aviation. As research began, the story unfolded to reveal some fascinating facts about the family in question. The Deceased’s paternal uncle was known for his work in the field of aviation but tragically was killed in action. His passion for flying passed onto his two sons.

His first son (and cousin of the Deceased), Denis George Vaughan-Fowler graduated from the R.A.F College, in the same class as the famed Douglas Badar. A flying accident while carrying out his orders night flying, cost him his life. The second son, Peter Erskine Vaughan-Fowler flew Lysanders and carried out clandestine landings in German-occupied France. His passengers included Jean Moulin as well as the agent Noor Inayat Khan.

Avoiding the strong temptations to get lost in the stories and distracted by the history that this case presented, the Case Manager got to work on the job in hand, which was to locate the beneficiaries to the estate. As research got underway, it transpired that referring this case to a firm that specialises in probate research was a shrewd move made by the instructing solicitor.

Altogether, the firm located 19 beneficiaries. Finding and contacting this amount of people takes extensive research, especially as one beneficiary was located in Australia.

Another prudent move made by the solicitor was to take out Missing Beneficiary Indemnity (MBI) Insurance. Any firm that claims to be professional in the field of Genealogy and Probate Research should make its clients aware of the importance of taking out insurance such as MBI. It is unlikely but perfectly feasible that another entitled beneficiary, an illegitimate child perhaps, could come forward after the estate has been distributed with problematic and expensive consequences. These consequences are easily avoided, just by taking out the relevant insurance.
Solicitors wishing to take out MBI Insurance should check that the firm arranging the insurance works with more than one provider and will, therefore, be able to supply a competitive quote.

As the case mentioned above highlights, referring your beneficiary search to the experts gives you the best chance of achieving successful research results. It also helps to protect you and your clients from unforeseeable, potentially damaging events.