Death of professional trustee

We have a client who is in a bad state of health and who was a joint trustee on a flexible trust with his solicitor, for the client’s whole of life policy.
He has found out that the solicitor passed away a number of years ago and he doesn’t know who to contact for a death certificate to give to the provider as proof of the trustee’s death.
He wants to appoint another trustee to manage the proceeds on his eventual death, rather than having his PRs having to deal with it.
What options are available for him?

Possible to get copy certs through the General Registry Office. Or even companies like EstateResearch etc if no other option

You might find the executors by locating the grant of probate here. They might provide a certificate or cert. copy.

Or ask the firm he last worked with (it might be the one whose address is the one he used in the trust document)? If he was appointed as an executor / trustee on other estates / trusts, they will probably have a copy of the death certificate on file.

Paul Davidoff
New Quadrant

I think the law society will step in and help you at least get the date of death and from there a death certificate can be obtained.

I assume that the settlor (client) has the power to appoint new trustees - which they can do whilst getting a copy of the death certificate. If the client is ill then it would be best to appoint a trustee sooner rather than later.

It, also, might be worth checking with the provider as some have access to systems that let them check whether a person has died (for example, Tracesmart). It means they can proof the death without the client having to get a copy of the death certificate from the Registry Office.

Kim Jarvis

If you wish to email me with details of the deceased trustee I’ll look to see if the death certificate entry can be readily identified - name - location (approx), approximate dates.

If so then ordering a copy is easy enough.

Kim Jarvis makes a good point. If you are certain that the co-trustee has died, the remaining trustee can (unless someone else has the power to appoint trustees) appoint additional trustees under s36 Trustee Act 1925. He does not actually need to produce a death certificate before he can exercise that power - it is just that a copy of the death certificate may be necessary to prove that the power has been validly exercised. If obtaining a copy of the death certificate may take time, but you are confident that one can be obtained, then the surviving trustee should get on and appoint an additional/replacement trustee now and obtain the proof afterwards.

Paul Davidoff
New Quadrant