How To Effectively Track Down A Missing Beneficiary



If a will, settlement trust, or any kind of agreement results in the divvying up of wealth or benefits, there are likely a few parties who have a claim to it. Wills are often the most common because people leave their family or friends something after they have passed. But what happens when it is hard to locate that beneficiary?


This is an all too common problem as beneficiaries can move or simply be unaware that they stand to receive compensation or benefits. This can be a difficult task depending on where you are and how much information you have. There are plenty of people out there, but here are some ways to effectively track down the missing beneficiary to resolve their end of the deal.

Credit Reference Database

One simple way to figure out if someone is active or not and where they are located is through credit reference databases. This is not easy information to come by because it is sensitive information and private to the credit companies and banks. However, it is a useful way to determine someone’s whereabouts based on payments, credit use, and other information like vehicle registration or rent/mortgage data. This is a way to help track down those beneficiaries to help them get their inheritance of this situation and can prove to be a useful method if done through the proper channels. It likely involves the cooperation of some legal authority to access this information but it is doable.

Using Genealogy and Family Record Services

Another great way to figure out where someone is or who they are is through genealogical and family records. These can be offered through digital databases, and these helpful services allow you to access this information nearly anywhere now. They have an extensive list of information that can be discovered or input and is backed up by professional genealogists. Sometimes tracking down a beneficiary can be difficult because you are unaware of who they are, but using database services can help figure out these questions along the way, and from there, you can implement searches from some of these other options to help complete the task. It is important to note that not all services are the same and some are simply for family records, while others are more comprehensive in finding relevant information like addresses and dates of birth.

Hiring a Personal Investigator

Hiring a personal or private investigator might feel like something cartoonish that is reserved for comic books or movies, but people use their services all the time. Whether it is to catch a spouse cheating, collect evidence for an insurance claim, or in this case, track down a missing beneficiary, there are plenty of reasons to use their expertise. They comb through digital databases, social media, credit information, employment records, and a serious amount of personal information to try and find these people so they can get what they deserve. Even marriage licenses are a way to help track someone down. Their services can vary in price, but they should not be taken lightly as they are used to handling situations like this. There may be little to work with, but they can achieve the results regardless – finding someone or something.

Declaring a Death or Absence

There is another concern when it comes to tracking down a missing beneficiary and it is certainly not a fun one. The issue is if they are believed to have died or are unable to be located and in both events, there are legal manners to go about declaring them dead or absent. These instances mean that the proper paperwork must be filed to determine what to do with their portion of the inheritance or benefits. Sometimes the testator or executor of the will, insurance policy, or trust will include provisions if this occurs, but more often than not it will have to be determined by lawyers and other parties of the estate as to what the fair redistribution of these benefits is. This is something that is only a matter of concern after all efforts have been exhausted, but important to consider nonetheless.


Trying to find someone means having to exercise all the options available to you. Tracking down a missing beneficiary is no exception. This problem happens a lot when a will or trust is being given out to the recipients and someone is unaccounted for. The reason why it is so important is that it can create some issues in a legal sense of what to do with their take, so these are the ways you can find that beneficiary.