Tracing Beneficiaries and Living Relatives - A Step by Step Guide (741)


Tutor: Karen Bali


When you have to administer an estate, the process can be more complicated and cost more if you also need to trace a missing beneficiary. Sometimes the value of the legacy or estate does not merit hiring a genealogist or a specialist probate genealogy firm to trace them.

This course, designed specifically for solicitors, executors and legal staff, but also relevant to anybody wishing to trace living relatives, takes you through the basics of finding named beneficiaries and proving family connections where there is no will. It will cover easy, low cost sources and methods, where to access records (both online and historical) and advice on building a family tree. You will be shown how to present your evidence and advised how best to make an approach to possible beneficiaries. The course concentrates on resources for locating people in England & Wales, although some advice for the rest of the UK will also be included. The course will not teach you how to be an "heir hunter" or give any instruction on how to administer unclaimed estates advertised by the Treasury, but it does show you some of the techniques that heir hunters use to locate people.

A basic understanding of family history research will help you but is by no means essential as all resources and procedures will be explained. Some websites and databases in the course are subscription only or will require a fee.

Lesson Headings:
  • The Basics of Probate Research
  • Civil Registration Records
  • Electoral Registers, Wills and Credit Databases
  • Online Historical Resources
  • Practicalities and Pitfalls

See How the Courses Work.

Relevant Countries: England & Wales

Course Length: 5 weeks
Start Date:   
Cost: £45.99
Course Full
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