Success Stories

Locating Nearly Two Dozen Living Beneficiaries

An attorney in Pennsylvania representing the trustee hired HeirSearch to identify and locate any surviving issue.

The Bonetti Family Trust, set up by Laurence Bonetti, had to be terminated when Daniel, the grantor’s son and the trust’s beneficiary, died without children. Prior to his passing, Daniel had enacted his exercise of the power of appointment granted to him under the Trust Agreement. If the court determined that exercise to be effective, the contingent remainder beneficiaries would not receive a distribution from the trust.

These beneficiaries included Laurence Bonetti’s three siblings and a nephew, or their surviving issue. They would be entitled to notice of the proceedings. Since all of the siblings were deceased, it was critical for the trustee to identify and locate any additional surviving issue.

A Pennsylvania-based attorney representing the trustee hired HeirSearch for the task and provided the following documentation to start the search:

  • Laurence Bonetti’s Trust Agreement.
  • A Certificate of Service for an account filed concerning another trust with an essentially identical distribution provision.
  • Print-outs of some of the family members’ details like their birth, death, and burial records with the list of their possible extended family members that the trustee found.

Our forensic genealogists consulted birth, marriage, and death records, U.S. Federal Census records, obituaries, plus other relevant records, and identified 22 Level I heirs.

Eight of the heirs were living and therefore were to be notified of the proceedings. Since the research was for notice purposes, our required objective to facilitate the proceedings was accomplished in compliance with the trustee’s fiduciary duty.

HeirSearch provided a Family Tree report and a list of the eight named heirs and their contact details. With the surviving Bonetti heirs identified, located, and proven, the trustee could terminate the Trust.

If you are a trustee or an attorney representing a trustee and need to establish heirship to provide notice of the proceedings, HeirSearch can help. We offer no-cost, no-obligation consultations, even if you are not planning to start a search right away. Feel free to reach out with any questions — we look forward to connecting!

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