Tracing missing beneficiaries to unclaimed inheritances.
Abel Associates are a firm of probate genealogists and trace missing or unknown beneficiaries to the estates of deceased persons. We usually work on the instruction of professional clients such as solicitors, banks and other trustees who require our specialist expertise to locate missing beneficiaries. We may be required to trace beneficiaries who have been named in a Will, or who are entitled to a share in the estate of a person who has died without leaving a valid Will (intestate).
Sometimes a beneficiary named in a Will cannot be located by a solicitor because the information contained within the Will may be out of date and the beneficiary has changed address, or died since the Will was drafted.
When the deceased has died intestate and not left a Will, the estate is distributed in a set way according to the Intestacy Laws of England & Wales. If the deceased has no surviving immediate family, the Intestacy Laws sometimes allow very distant relatives to benefit from an estate and it is not uncommon for people to receive money from a deceased person who they have never even heard of.
If you are to benefit from an estate of a distant relative and interested in your family history, we are happy to provide a copy of our family tree on completion of our research.
Our FAQS for beneficiaries
Not sure whether you are beneficiary?
View our simple order of entitlement to find out if you are able to claim.
Whatever your requirements, from a full intestacy, to the supply of a single document, you can be assured of a thorough, professional and prompt service.
We can appreciate that our approach may often come as a surprise and that many of the beneficiaries that we locate are suspicious. However, If you require any further reassurance that this is a genuine matter we can provide you with a contact at a firm of solicitors who will vouch for our company.
Please feel free to contact us if we have recently approached you as a potential beneficiary on an estate and you wish to discuss the matter further.
FAQs for beneficiaries
We reconstruct family tress using publicly available birth, death and marriage records. Once we have established a persons statutory next of kin, we use electoral registers and credit reference databases to find current addresses.
Most often, we have been instructed by a firm of solicitors who will have agreed our fee in advance which will come from the estate, and there will be no additional cost to yourself. Occasionally we work on a commission basis where our fee is a percentage of your entitlement. The administering solicitor will deduct this from the estate and pay us at the same time as you receive your entitlement. If it transpires that you receive no share, we receive no fee.
If we have identified you as a potential beneficiary it is likely that we have asked you to provide some from of identification such as photocopies of your birth and marriage certificates. We need these documents in order to prove your link to the deceased and verify your identity.
We are registered with the ICO (ZA251405) and any information or documents that you supply, is in the strictest of confidence. We will never disclose your details to any third party, other than the solicitor or Personal Representative dealing with the estate, without your express permission.
Once we have completed all of our research and received our Commission fee Agreements where applicable, we will report your details to the solicitors or Personal Representatives dealing with the estate. Once the solicitors have finished administering the estate the balance of the monies held by them will be distributed to the heirs.
Please inform us of any information that we may have requested relating to your family history which may assist us in our enquiries. Family bibles, old photographs and memories from childhood often provide the missing link which can help us to complete our research and you to receive any inheritance more swiftly.
This can vary enormously from case to case depending on the amount and complexity of the research we need to undertake. Some estates have taken well over a year to resolve, but the majority have been completed in a matter of weeks.
On intestate estates, the Personal Representatives are required by law to distribute the funds to every beneficiary that is entitled to a share of the estate and this can sometimes mean tracking down people all over the world. However, you can be assured that your case is receiving our very best attention at all times.
You can not inherit a debt from the estate of a deceased person. If estate funds are exhausted after payment of the deceased’s debts then the estate is declared insolvent. If you have signed a commission fee Agreement with us on an estate that we later discover to be insolvent, you are under no obligation to us whatsoever.
Our senior researcher Katherine Abel is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG)