White Paper

A Better Approach to Search for Trust Beneficiaries

For a trust to exist, three requirements —or certainties— must be met: the intention to create a trust, identifiable property that is transferred to the trustee, and identifiable beneficiaries. For professional trustees, fulfilling fiduciary responsibilities in managing and administering a trust is, for the most part, a straightforward process. However, in circumstances where beneficiaries are not immediately identifiable – they may be unknown, estranged or deceased – the process can become mired in complexity.

For a trust to be administered according to the grantor’s wish, named beneficiaries need to be notified. The distribution of assets could be delayed when the whereabouts of one or more beneficiaries are unknown.

Estrangement from family, illness, divorce, multiple marriages, adoption, and children out of wedlock are just some of the situations that can delay managing and administering a trust due to the time and resources required to locate and prove the identity of beneficiaries.

Whether the purpose of identifying and locating unknown beneficiaries is to report the termination of a trust, notify beneficiaries of amendments, or to distribute assets, HeirSearch™ assists professional trustees by locating missing beneficiaries in the most accurate, efficient, and cost-effective manner.

Thanks to a combination of specialized education, training, and experience, our research experts are highly qualified to find missing heirs and beneficiaries. Since 1967, this knowledge and expertise has resulted in an average success rate of 97%.

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