Unknown Unknowns – How Do You Find Out What Bank Accounts the Deceased Had?

One issue which executors face is tracing what exactly is included in the estate – Age UK have produced a leaflet which is helpful for anyone wondering whether there are other accounts out there, useful even for those of us still around (click here).

But aside from tracing unknown bank accounts or unclaimed pensions the deceased may have had, personal representatives can run into difficulties with more complex areas – for instance, do the title deeds reflect who actually owns the house?

The case of Clarke v Meadus* illustrates the sort of problems an executor can face when others – particularly family – think they are entitled to the deceased’s property. What the will says and what the deceased told people during their lifetime can differ – or the deceased can be unaware of the legal consequences of their actions during life.

The executor has duties to distribute the estate properly. In circumstances like this, it is important to have proper advice on how to obtain probate and how to distribute an estate.

A good value probate service can save the executor a lot of time and energy, and could even save the estate money in the long-run.

*[2010] EWHC 3117 (Ch) (01 December 2010)

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