Finding Missing Beneficiaries and Unknown Next of Kin
Ireland’s most prominent Probate Genealogist firm, Erin Research, specialises in tracing missing heirs to estates worldwide has grown rapidly by providing technology-enabled services to Irish solicitors and legal personal representatives.
The firm, founded in 2018 by Managing Director Padraic Grennan, has now become the go-to firm in Ireland for legal professionals that require assistance when administering complex probate estates.
Executors and Administrators
In Ireland, there is no legal requirement to instruct a solicitor to extract a grant of probate. While it is advisable to do so, a private individual can administer an estate if they so wish.
If a person dies testate, the person who administers the estate is called the executor and is generally named on a Will by the testator (person who wade the Will). When someone dies intestate (without having made a Will), the person who administers the estate is known as the administrator. Both are known as the legal personal representative of the deceased person.
When administering an estate privately, great care must be taken to ensure that details of all transactions and activities are accurately recorded in case of a challenge to the estate at a later date. All assets must be accounted for and sold, while liabilities must be identified and paid. If the deceased person died intestate, the distribution of the shares of an estate must be carried out in accordance with the laws of intestacy, which often times can be difficult to navigate.
As well as working with solicitors, Erin Research also work with legal personal representatives who need assistance in establishing the identity of unknown next of kin or indeed in tracing the whereabouts of unknown relatives. They can also assist with queries in relation to the general administration of estates and succession law.
Finding Missing Beneficiaries
The administration of an estate can often be delayed for considerable timeframes if one or more of the entitled beneficiaries are missing. While it is always advisable to try and locate missing relatives before hiring a professional, the advice Erin Research gives is to not wait too long.
In many cases, beneficiaries can be elderly and to delay the probate application and subsequently the distribution of the estate can mean that in some cases entitled legatees may not benefit from and get to enjoy their rightful inheritance. The Legal Personal Representatives of an estate have a legal and moral obligation to ensure that the proceeds of an estate are distributed in a timely manner to ensure the legacy and wishes of the deceased person are upheld.
If encountered with an estate whereby named beneficiaries are missing, or the entitled relatives of a deceased person are unknown, Erin Research can assist and help resolve such cases so that the administration process can be proceeded with.
Verifying Family Trees
In the vast majority of estates, distribution is made to immediate family members such as siblings, or children of the deceased person. However, accurate distribution can be somewhat more difficult to ensure when an estate is being divided up between multiple beneficiaries, especially upon intestacy.
To ensure correct and lawful distribution, Erin Research verifies family trees for solicitors and legal personal representatives alike. By using a professional firm, you can rest assured that no errors or omissions have occurred and that you are indeed distributing to the rightful heirs.
In some circumstances, it can happen that someone dies with no known next of kin. In such tragic circumstances, there may be no one family member or relative to instruct a solicitor to administer the estate.
Erin Research can assist in these unfortunate situations. Using probate and genealogy research techniques, they identify the nearest next of kin, trace that person’s whereabouts, and advise them to instruct the referring solicitor to proceed to extract a grant of representation so that the estate can be administered. These cases are conducted on a pro-bono basis by Erin Research.
Finding Owners of Vacant Homes
There are many empty homes across Ireland where the owner may have passed away with no known family or relatives left behind. Erin Research works on many such cases, where they identify and trace the nearest living next-of-kin to the property owner, which in turn allows for that person’s estate to be administered. The properties are sold and eventually brought back into use. Erin Research uses its unique skillset to help reintroduce empty homes back into use in communities across Ireland.
If you are aware of a case of missing beneficiaries or unknown next of kin, need a family tree verified, or know of an empty property where the owner has passed away with no known next-of-kin, you can make an enquiry with Erin research by completing the form below.