Beneficiaries refusing to accept shares of estate due to them

My client died intestate in 2013. Genealogists have been involved in tracing the beneficiaries of the estate, the majority of whom are in the US. A number of these beneficiaries have, for various reasons, refused to engage in the process and accept the share of the estate due to them. They are not even willing to formally disclaim their entitlements.

We are currently left holding circa £17,000 - in the circumstances are we able to distribute these funds to the other known beneficiaries? If not, what should we do with the monies?

I would add that research was inconclusive in respect of certain strands of the family and indemnity insurance is in place in respect of these ‘missing’ beneficiaries. The indemnity insurance does not, of course, cover the beneficiaries referred to above.

I have a very similar situation ( involving a similar amount) at the moment my beneficiaries are in Australia. I have written to them repeatedly by received no response. I have asked the genealogy company involved in may case to arrange for their agents in Australia to knock on the doors of the beneficiaries to explain the position. Hopefully they’ll accept or if not will sign a disclaimer.

Failing the above I will consider whether to pay the funds to the PR subject to them signing an indemnity (subject to approval from the directors of my firm and possible OK from our PI insurers) or more likely, given the amount, will look at paying the money into court.