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How to Trace Whereabouts of Trust Funds?

By: J.A.J Aaronson - Updated: 26 Nov 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Trusts Locating Document Trust Will

Q.

A close friend died recently but shortly before he died he told me that he had set up a trust fund in the names of his children. The fund consisted of some inherited assets. We cant find any detail of the fund amongst his things. Is there a central registration body or some other way to trace what arrangements he had made?

(Mr Ed Cook, 8 July 2009)

A.

Amongst the most difficult challenges facing those who must deal with the death of a relative or friend is that of locating documents and assets. Unless the deceased individual has left clear instructions regarding how to find these things, it is not uncommon for some arrangements to go unfound for good.

Sadly there is no central database or similar tool for the registration of trusts. There are several reasons for this; in the first instance, it is not necessary to ‘register’ a trust in order for it to be set up. Indeed, most trusts are established with a few lines of text in a will. While this is good news for those who wish to set up trusts quickly and easily, it is unfortunate for those posed with the task of finding them.

There are a few steps that you can take to locate details of the trust. You have not made clear whether or not you are the executor of your friend’s estate. If so, you will have fairly wide-ranging powers to look through their affairs. If not, you should obviously mention the existence of the trust to the executor if you do not think they are aware of it.

As has been mentioned, trusts are frequently established within an individual’s will. This is the first place that you should look. Have a solicitor look through the document to determine whether or not a trust has been set up, as this type of document can be confusing to the uninitiated.

You should also contact your friend’s solicitor. Trusts are sometimes set up by lodging documents with solicitors or accountants, and they may therefore know more. Similarly, it might be worth enquiring at your friend’s bank; although it is less common now, some individuals used to lodge important documents with their bank managers. This is still fairly common for those with a particularly high net worth.

In conclusion, there isn’t a central body for the registration of trusts. But you stand a good chance of locating the trust by looking closely at the individual’s will, including any codicils or other attached documents, and talking to key people with whom documents may have been lodged.

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I'm a south African,My was half Swazi born in SA,We got married in Swaziland ,We had serious differences that separated us though the business was a special arrangement to let me carry on working until my his 60th,We chose never to divorce as he had other issues,He passed on 2015 All relevant documents are missing ;including the will and my papers are hidden because we had a worker fronted but she ended being the other woman?Upon going to the master of the court she had fraudulently declared I had died then qualified to buried my husband within a week as his wife!She's currently fraudulently living high ignoring my existence,I am just watching looting of my legacy!I'm told she's trying to bribe some lawyer to the trust fund to be paid out in January,The offices of the master were unusually ignoring her lies for the estate?She knows about me but just doing fraud in the open !Hiw she acquired the SA papers &marriage certificate is another story!PLEASE ADVISE!
Nkosazana - 26-Nov-18 @ 12:41 AM
I have found out that I was left a trust fund many years ago. It was from my grandma many years ago..The rest of the family have either deceased or I have lost contact with them due to situations. How can I find out where it is?........I now live in the USA Thank you
Amanda - 17-Sep-18 @ 8:33 PM
Hello my name is Julie Harding i am right on be half of my boyfriend
Julie Harding - 12-Feb-18 @ 6:44 PM
My father passed away without informing me where is the trust fund he left me that he spoke about a lot. How can I track it?
NS - 15-Nov-17 @ 3:01 PM
Viv - Your Question:
HelloMy son was born in 1997 and his grandfather died in 1996. Before he died he said he had created a trust fund for the child (unborn at that point).The grandfather was the father of my husband and we have since divorced.The grandmother no longer speaks to us and will not give any details of the trust fund or even whether it still exists. My sons father will also not speak to us or provide any help. How can we find out? My son turns 21 in 8 months and this is the age the grandfather said it would mature.Thank youViv

Our Response:
There isn't anyway we know of that would help with this other than trying to communicate with relatives.
EstatesOrTrusts - 8-Aug-17 @ 2:28 PM
Hello My son was born in 1997 and his grandfather died in 1996. Before he died he said he had created a trust fund for the child (unborn at that point). The grandfather was the father of my husband and we have since divorced. The grandmother no longer speaks to us and will not give any details of the trust fund or even whether it still exists. My sons father will also not speak to us or provide any help. How can we find out? My son turns 21 in 8 months and this is the age the grandfather said it would mature. Thank you Viv
Viv - 6-Aug-17 @ 5:04 PM
Dennis - Your Question:
I have a two trust funda in my name that both my parents have put in place for me. My father is in prison and my mother has bipolar as are therefore being spiteful and nit allowing me to have them. Could you help or should I get over it?

Our Response:
How old are you? If you're over 18 and the trusts are in your name, seek advice from a legal professional. They may be able to help you access the details of the trusts at the very least.
EstatesOrTrusts - 4-Apr-17 @ 10:10 AM
I have a two trust funda in my name that both my parents have put in place for me. My father is in prison and my mother has bipolar as are therefore being spiteful and nit allowing me to have them. Could you help or should i get over it?
Dennis - 3-Apr-17 @ 4:21 AM
@geobhoy70. There is a form on the HMRC website to trace a CTF here
EstatesOrTrusts - 16-Mar-15 @ 12:31 PM
I would like to trace a government child trust fund for my son who was born on the 28th of July 2005 we never opened one up but seemingly the government did this for you after a certain amount of time we have never had any correspondence whatsoever from anyone about this I would be obliged if you could help us out please
geobhoy70 - 12-Mar-15 @ 4:20 PM
I would like to ask If there is anyway to trace my own trust fund that was opened for me a child. I was born in south africa and moved to england when I was 7 and the account was opened over there. What are my options with this?
hails - 3-Jul-12 @ 5:07 PM
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