Our solicitor client approached us asking if we could help with a trace on a probate matter. He was looking after the administration of an estate for a lady that had died in September 2015, leaving a will dated 1980. In this will she left the whole of her estate to be divided equally between her four children, or to their children if any predeceased here.
One of her children had died before her but both he and the rest of the family had lost contact with his daughter who was born in the mid to late 1970s. The family knew of the area within which the daughter’s mother lived. Full names of all parties were provided however, it was thought that the daughter’s mother may have married several times.
The family had agreed to pay the necessary fee to trace the missing daughter out of her £15k inheritance.
We were able to trace the daughter and to provide the family with her full contact details, including an address and telephone number. Comprehensive details of our research were provided to them, including the information from a few leads which had lead us to dead-ends. We make our search process totally transparent so that they family concerned can be assured that we have identified the correct person.
We found several people matching the name but none with the same middle name or date of birth. Eventually, we were able to focus on one pertinent individual and evidence showed that she was the only child of the married couple concerned. We not only had to examine birth records but also obtain copies of Marriage Certificates and Birth Certificates in order to ensure that she was indeed the only child. Checks were also made with the GRO to see if the daughter had married more than once or even passed away. These searches came up negative.
From this point on, we carried out a number of ‘long shot’ searches using a specialised facility that we subscribe to. Upon entering the name and date of birth we came up with 16 matching results. We were able to eliminate several due to them having a different middle name. We then ended up with 12 to choose from.
One entry stood out as it was in the correct town. Linked addresses came up numbering six and we checked each of these in turn. They were all previous addresses for the daughter concerned but one showed that she was now going under a different name. We were able to locate a telephone number for one of these addresses, which belonged to the daughter’s mother. She was able to confirm the daughter’s present name and address so that the family could contact her.
The process was lengthy and quite complex due to change of name, addresses and the time period involved. However, our expert knowledge, in-depth research and access to various specialised database systems, allowed us to successfully trace the correct beneficiary of the will in accordance with the families’ wishes.
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