Missing Will Insurance
Personal representatives may retain a personal liability after distribution of the residuary estate where a will or subsequent will of the deceased is discovered after the distribution of the deceased’s estate and it is no longer possible to obtain reimbursement of monies already paid to identified beneficiaries under the laws of intestancy or the deceased’s previous will.
Missing Will Insurance may be required where:
- There is a thought or suggestion of a will or a subsequent will but, despite searches and enquiries, it cannot be located
- The personal representatives, the family and other beneficiaries believe there is no will or subsequent will but there remains a possibility that one may exist
There is the potential for many years to pass before a new beneficiary becomes aware of their entitlement to all or part of the deceased’s estate.
The practical solution in either circumstance is for a Missing Will Policy to be taken out so that the deceased’s estate may be distributed under the rules of intestancy or the term’s of a deceased’s known will. If a beneficiary comes forward later and claims entitlement under a will or a subsequent will, the personal representatives are protected from any personal liability.
- Upon payment of a one-off premium cover is provided in perpetuity
- Removes the risk to personal representatives of personal liability for claims arising out of the distribution of the estate without having provided for the unknown beneficiaries
- Allows the estate to be wound up for the beneficiaries to receive their entitlement
- It is sometimes possible to extend cover to protect the beneficiaries to whom the estate is being distributed
What The Policy Covers
- Any monies which a previously unknown beneficiary is entitled to receive from the estate under the terms of a will or a subsequent will of the deceased, not recoverable from the net estate or the beneficiaries to whom it has been distributed and for which the personal representative would otherwise become personally liable
- Costs incurred with the consent of the insurer in defending any action brought by the claimant against the personal representative
- Any other costs and expenses incurred with the prior consent of the insurer