I am currently dealing with an estate which has left a friend a sum of £1000. The friend has also passed away and she died intestate. The friend has no children and her parents have died. She has 9 siblings, many of which have passed away. She does have nieces and nephews from the deceased siblings who live in Australia and America. We have contacted some family members to assist in the distribution of the £1000 amongst the siblings and nieces/nephews however no one is ready to assist. As the amount is so small, is there any way around this? The amount of work involved in locating the siblings, nieces and nephews is going to be very expensive, it does not seem financially reasonable.
As executor of the estate from which the legacy is payable, you have no duty, or responsibility, to administer the monies in the beneficiary’s estate.
Any work you have undertaken in trying to trace beneficiaries, after you were able to inform someone with a potential interest in the deceased beneficiary’s estate of that estate’s entitlement, is probably not billable to “your” estate.
I suggest you consider paying the monies to the residuary beneficiaries against their indemnity that they will reimburse/pay the legacy once those with an interest I that estate have provided satisfactory evidence of entitlement. If you do that, you should also advise the potential claimants of the action you propose to take, which might also encourage them to get their act together.
The alternative would be for you to retain the legacy until it is claimed, which may be a very long time, if at all, and which might conflict with the rules and regulations under which you conduct business in any event.