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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34105
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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A beneficiary has reached the age to receive s benefit. s

Customer Question

A beneficiary has reached the age to receive his benefit. His whereabouts cannot be ascertained and he does not wish to communicate with his family. What happens to his benefit?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question

My name is Clare

I shall do my best to help you but I need some further information first

Where are the funds at the moment?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The funds are still in the Trust account
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

Is there any reason why they cannot remain there?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
They will just remain in the account as a sum of money earning no interest.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

Then the funds can sit there until the beneficiary asks for them to be released

There is no other action that need sto be taken.

However if this feels unsatisfactory an enquiry agent can be used to find him and arrangements can then be made for him to collect the funds.

Please ask if you need further details

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Eventually the trust will cease in some years when the last beneficiary is paid out.. What happens to his benefit? Is there a time limit for him to be barred from his claim under English Law and so that his share re enters the working funds of the Trust and the Trustee can re allocate the money? There are several benficiaries who benefit when attaining the age of 25 years.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

There is no time limit after which the claim is barred.

If it is not claimed then his share can be distributed amongst the remaining beneficiaries - but only on the understanding that if he comes forward in the future they will each have to pay him back and the Trustee needs to take out insurance to protect himself.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If the last beneficiary is paid at some long time in the future, then the Trust would wish to close. There will still be this sum remaining and which will not have grown in value from last November which hampers closure. What steps can then be taken? I presume that any fees to find him and pay his benefit will be deductible from his benefit?
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

Yes any fees will be payable from his share

The other option is to take out insurance and redistribute the funds

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

Yes the costs of tracing him get taken from his share

if you do wish to close the account then you will need to take out Insurance and then re-distribute the funds

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Can you suggest where to get this insurance from and how it is costed?
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

There is no point in getting a quote until after you have instructed an enquiry agent as that is a pre-requisite

http://www.trustprobate-insurance.co.uk/probate/missing_beneficiary.html

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I do appreciate the point. However,I would like to know which insurance companies carry out this work and indeed which reputable investigation companies you could recommend to locate this young man and effect his payment.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

Since I am not likely to be in the same part of the UK as the missing beneficiary I cannot recommend anyone.

However the link above for the Insurance comes from a firm that also specialises in tracing missing beneficiaries

Clare and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry Clare, I have just one more clarification. The beneficiaries were named as great grandchildren in a testamentary trust. There is one further child born after the death of the settlor and therefore not named. Can this person become included into the Trust as a beneficiary as per the intent of the settlor although not named. The trust is run as discretionary.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

What is the exact wording?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I give devise and bequeath all my remaining estate....after costs......etc( shortened). To divide the same to a large list of beneficiaries all named. In the case in question "the children of my Grandson Ivan Croxford( if any)....... as survive me and attain attain the age of twenty five years".My dilemma is that Ivan did have another child several years later. I believe that the bequest is ambiguous as it could include this person literally or could be read as those existing at the time that the will is executed. If the former, then those beneficiaries already paid before the birth of Ivan's later child will have received in excess of their entitlement.I hope I have made the situation clear. So there are two questions really.1. Can or should I include Ivan's later child anyway?
2. If the view is he should not be included then can I add him as substitute for missing Kyle if he does not turn up?
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

Was the later child born before or after the first of the children reached the age of 25?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Two of the beneficiaries had reached 25 years before Conrad was born.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

I am afraid that Conrad cannot be included - unless all the other children say they are willing to agree to share their funds with him.

You certainly cannot "substitute" him for Kyle. That money belongs to Kyle and and one else

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks Clare,You have confirmed all off my understandings on the matter and provided additional guidance,
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

You are most welcome I hope all goes well