The deceased died with no known relatives
The deceased died with no known relatives

The following Wills & Probate guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • The deceased died with no known relatives
  • Tracing beneficiaries
  • Notices and searches
  • Advertisements in the Law Society Gazette
  • Instructing genealogists
  • Bona vacantia
  • Discretionary grants
  • Grants ad colligenda bona

Tracing beneficiaries

The solicitor could take the following steps to trace beneficiaries:

  1. make section 27 of the Trustee Act 1925 (TA 1925) notices and searches

  2. advertise in the 'Wills and Whereabouts' section of the Law Society Gazette

  3. instruct genealogists

  4. refer the matter to the Bona Vacantia Division of the Treasury Solicitor's Department

Notices and searches

TA 1925, s 27 notices are placed in:

  1. the London Gazette

  2. a newspaper circulating in the district in which any land (including leasehold land) forming part of the estate is to be distributed

  3. any other appropriate publication as a court would direct in an administration action, including publications elsewhere than in England and Wales; if in any doubt as to what these might be, seek directions from the court.

The notice must require any person interested to send particulars of their claim to the PRs, within the stated time, which must not be less than two months from the appearance of the advertisement, after which time the estate will be distributed on the basis of claims of which the PRs then have notice (whether from a response to the advertisements or otherwise).

The London Gazette publishes each working day. Notices should be received before 11.30 am at least two working days ahead of publication. Advertisements in the London Gazette can be submitted by post,

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