I am instructed by an executor of an estate who it is alleged partially administered an estate some 10 years ago. Not dealt with at the time were a number of shareholdings belonging jointly to the deceased and her son. At the time of administering the rest of the estate the son was missing and had been for almost 20 years, he is still missing. The beneficiaries under the will have alleged that these shares should have been dealt with at the time and I’m instructed to investigate the position (and claim them by the estate if possible).
In order for these shares to fall into the mother’s estate, my thinking is that the son would need to have either pre-deceased or be presumed to have pre-deceased his mother. Does anyone have any experience of obtaining a declaration of presumed death? In particular whether such a declaration can be obtained to declare that death is presumed at a date earlier than the order is obtained ie can I, in 2017, apply for a declaration that death is presumed to have occurred in 2007.
In my opinion, a declaration of presumed death at any date after the mother’s death would not benefit the estate and would therefore be a step to be taken by those persons entitled on intestacy to the son’s estate, rather than by (and at the expense of) the estate.
I’d be grateful for any assistance/guidance that can be offered including any alternative solutions to collecting in the shares on behalf of either the mother’s estate or the son’s estate.