If a will provides for a share to go to the child or children of a deceased child, how do you go about finding out if

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Customer: If a will provides for a share to go to the child or children of a deceased child, how do you go about finding out if there are any more children?
JA: What province is this in? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Manitoba
JA: What steps have been taken so far?
Customer: I questioned the deceased child before he died. He wasn't aware of any children besides the one.
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: The deceased child had only one son (to the knowledge of his parents), but suffered drug and alchohol addictions, so I'm not sure if I need to be checking somehow if he had any liasons that might have resulted in children.
Answered by ToLawyer in 5 mins 1 year ago
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ToLawyer, Expert

Welcome and thank you for choosing Just Answer! My name is***** am a lawyer in Canada and would be happy to assist you. I am sorry to hear about your legal troubles.

Please note that while I am a lawyer, I am unable to provide you with legal advice on this website and I can provide you with legal information only. We always recommend seeking professional representation with a licenced lawyer or paralegal in your province.

Finally, please be advised that I am working from my computer and may not always be available immediately. Rest assured, I will get to your response as fast as I am able.

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ToLawyer, Expert

Good evening, are you the trustee of the estate?

Customer
Hi
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ToLawyer, Expert

Does the Will specify the children by name or "any children of mine (or other general statements)"?

Customer
The one grandson (son of the deceased son) is mentioned by name in one provision (as he was alive at the time the grandfather's will was signed). The grandfather set up a life interest for the ne'er-do-well son and provided for the remainder to go to the child or children of that son. So, for the clause in question, if the deceased son happened to have another child, that other child should also inherit a share of the remainder.
Customer
Granfather died in 1992 (and I've been the trustee since then), and the son died last week. I've been in touch with the one grandson we know about.
Customer
I'm just wondering whether I ought to be advertising or asking more questions about the possibility that he might have had more children.
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ToLawyer, Expert

Unfortunately there is no formal rules for this, but there are general tips:

The estate trustee should first try and identify the beneficiaries themselves before embarking on hiring professional assistance. When conducting their own investigation, estate trustees should keep careful and detailed notes of the steps taken and the results.

As a suggestion, consider contacting family, friends, neighbours, employers or coworkers of the deceased including other professionals such as the deceased’s lawyer, or accountant or other leads. Another suggestion would be to search all of the deceased’s social media accounts. Consider searching Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, to name but a few to learn who the deceased may have “friended,” or connected with and attempt to discover whether any of those individuals have information as to the identity of the next of kin of the deceased.

Another option, investigate historical or current public records at the Office of the Registrar General (Ontario). Generally, the estate trustee has the authority to request information with respect to death, birth, and marriage records.24 The Archives of Ontario also has several self-help research guides. 25 Additionally, there are several genealogical websites and search engines that may assist in identifying beneficiaries (for example, www.ancestry.ca). If none of these options produce results, examining the personal effects of the deceased may produce leads, including review of correspondence, diaries, and so on.

An estate trustee may wish to consider hiring a professional researcher or a genealogist to assist if their own efforts fail to identify the names of any next of kin. Accredited researchers may be able to access databases not available to the estate trustee.

Customer
Thank you. Those are helpful suggestions. There are two friends of the deceased that I could contact. I'm also contacting the woman who giave birth to the one son (i.e., the grandson) in case she's aware of any others. The deceased son (Rick) never had a relationship with his son. When I met Rick for the first time at his mother's funeral in 2015, I asked him where Branden (the grandson) was. He said he had no clue and hadn't been in touch in more than 10 or 15 years, but he thought he could remember the name of the boy's mother. :). Rick spent a lot of time in and out of jail and probation in BC. He lived in Red Deer Alberta (and managed to stay out of jail) the last few years.
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ToLawyer, Expert

I think there is only so much you can do without hiring a professional. If you have exhausted your search, you can document your efforts and release the outstanding funds.

Please let me know if I can assist you further.

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