Q&As

An executor named in a Will cannot be found and is thought to have died. What steps can be taken to locate them or to ascertain whether they are in fact dead?

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Produced in partnership with Ward Hadaway
Published on LexisPSL on 24/05/2016

The following Wills & Probate Q&A Produced in partnership with Ward Hadaway provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • An executor named in a Will cannot be found and is thought to have died. What steps can be taken to locate them or to ascertain whether they are in fact dead?
  • Was the missing executor a professional or lay individual?
  • Further lines of enquiry
  • If the executor cannot be located

Was the missing executor a professional or lay individual?

It is often clear from the description of the individual in the Will whether executors were appointed as a professional executor or were a relative or friend of the testator. If the missing executor was a professional executor it may be possible to trace them through their professional body. For example, the Law Society website has a 'Find a Solicitor' search facility which will show the current employment details of a practicing solicitor.

If the professional executor cannot be traced via their professional body and appears to have ceased practising, you can contact their last known firm to find out if anyone in the practice has contact details to pass on a letter from you to establish contact. Someone within the firm is likely to know if the person has died and may be able to provide you with sufficient information to enable you to obtain a copy

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