Missing entitled person - grant ad colligenda bona

My client has consulted me about his brother, who died intestate. My client would be the person entitled in the intestacy, except for a son who is long estranged. We do not have a huge amount of information about the son, and efforts to trace him have been unsuccessful so far. It is also conjectured that the son was adopted by his stepfather, but we do not know.

My client is concerned about the loss to the estate (although arguably it’s not really his concern). Are these circumstances in which we could apply for a grant ad colligenda bona? If we were to do so, would we be able to deduct the costs from the assets?

The only other slight complication is that their father had already died, and the deceased failed to account to our client for his rightful share of the estate, so it is possible that our client may be able to assert a beneficial interest over the estate, although I have advised that I wouldn’t be too confident about this.

Any thoughts would be very welcome.


Ben Leach
Molesworths Bright Clegg