Missing Beneficiary Insurance – Festive Family Reunions

DUAL Asset received a Missing Beneficiary claim last year where an elderly lady, living abroad decided to reconnect with her family back in the UK. They had lost touch many years ago. In turn, she then discovered she was entitled to an inheritance from a relative’s estate who had died the previous year. What prompted her to reconnect with her family? It appears it was just because she was thinking of her “long lost” family, which often happens this time of year. This claim was pre Covid-19.

Thumbing through your own address book, you often see names and addresses for family and friends with whom you have lost contact. A thought then crosses your mind, should I get in touch this year? Should I send the person a card? Questions, I am sure, a lot of us face as we get older and we sit down to write seasonal cards for our friends and family. This is especially true in the new Covid-19 world we are living in, where we may have learned to appreciate friends and family more, well, perhaps at least some of them!

Families can be very complex and estrangement is sadly not uncommon for adult family members. There can be a multitude of reasons for families losing touch including divorce, remarriage, money, relocation, heath issues and emotional issues. This can make the task of tracing family members difficult, especially when they need to be informed that a family member or friend has passed away and they may be due some inheritance from their estate.

Missing Beneficiary cover is the oldest form of estate and inheritance insurance in the legal indemnity insurance market and is often underpinned by a report from a genealogist. Once we receive an enquiry for insurance we look to see if a genealogist has been instructed, what research has been carried out (particularly in relation to close family) and whether further research has been recommended or not.

Genealogists sometimes face difficulties in carrying out research in some overseas jurisdictions. There can also be times when estate values are so small, carrying out research is difficult, if not impossible. Insurance can help with these difficult estates, as well as providing “precautionary” cover for those more straightforward estates where seemingly everyone has been located, but where this cannot be guaranteed.

DUAL Asset has a varied suite of Executor and Inheritance policies, including Missing Beneficiary, Missing Will, Scottish Legal Rights, Inheritance Act/Early Distribution and a Comprehensive All Risks policy supported by leading Counsel’s Opinion. All legal representatives should be making their clients aware of the existence of the comprehensive policy and the cover it offers to help avoid negligence claims and unnecessary delays. DUAL Asset also provide bespoke policies for existing disputes and claims where there is no easily available remedy and the distribution of the estate is being held up.

Missing Beneficiary Insurance and Missing Will insurance are just two of the insured events under DUAL Asset’s comprehensive policy. Other risks insured include Inheritance Act claims and a challenge to a will being made for testate estates. This is the newest form of insurance, available for estates, in the market and first launched by DUAL Asset back in 2013. It is available for estates in the UK, the Republic of Ireland and Jersey, on the basis the accompanying statements of fact can be met.v

If you have an estate which requires insurance please contact Kate Thorp – Manager Executor & Inheritance Protection, DUAL Asset Underwriting.

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