Have you ever wondering what Heir Hunters do!
The term “Heir Hunter” has been made popular in recent years thanks to the television program of the same name where the viewer watches companies in the probate research industry carry out their professional searches in their undertakings in tracing missing heirs.
These shows have had a huge impact on how the public view “Heir Hunters” as they have made the world at large more aware of the work we as probate researchers & genealogists carry out on the client’s behalf.
What shows such as “Heir Hunters” don’t show is the countless hours of research which go into any one case. This can be anything from 12 weeks to several years depending on the size of the family involved and the value of the estate in question.
Heir Hunters: The term refers to Probate Genealogists and Researchers.
Heir Hunting companies research intestate estates left by people who have passed away without leaving a valid will or having any close family members to take care of their estate when they die.
An estate refers to all the money and property owned by a person at the time of their death. This can indicate anything from a few pounds left over after their estate is settled or it can allude to the deceased having owned land, property and a large sum of money.
Heir Hunters are researchers who may have specialized in one of the following fields before joining an Heir Hunting company such as Gengenie Research.
• Genealogists who have expertise in researching family histories
• Police officers who may have left the police force but still enjoy detective work
• Solicitors looking for a change of pace
• Civil Servants who may have worked in the Treasury Departments in their relevant countries
In their respective fields and they may have come across cases where they feel that they have the skills to research intestate cases and find the missing heirs to these estates themselves.
Have you been contacted by an Heir Hunting company?
If so you might be wondering if this is a Scam!
Heir Hunters will attempt to contact potential heirs to the intestate estates they are researching to inform the heirs of their entitlement.
Some Heir Hunters prefer to come to your door which can be off putting if you are not expecting a visit or may feel pressure to sign with them.
We at Gengenie Research prefer to contact you by post, writing a cover letter explaining about the case in question along with all the relevant paperwork needed by us to proceed with representing the Heirs in question. This gives you as the client time to digest the information and our offer to represent you!
Of course, any researcher working in the Heir Hunting industry will be asked the question at least once on any case they are working on, how do I know that you are legitimate and not a scam?
These are some of the ways we can reassure you of our legitimacy:
• Gengenie Research or any other legitimate Heir Hunter will never ask you for money at any point during our research. Our team cover all expenses for you and are reimbursed from the finalized estate.
• Gengenie Research are registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), any business or industry who process personal data must register and pay a fee to the ICO yearly so that the ICO can monitor who is handling the public’s personal data, failure to do so can result in fines.
• We guarantee that any information obtained in our research will never be passed on without our client’s knowledge
• Any legitimate Heir Hunter will be happy for you to check them out and should be happy to pass on names of their solicitors or previous clients as referee’s (with their permission)
• It is always worth doing your own checks, search social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter, you can also check your heir hunters of search engines such as Google or Bing. A reputable heir hunter such as Gengenie Research will have a good media coverage.
What do I get from signing with an Heir Hunting Company?
If you sign a contract with an Heir Hunting company such as Gengenie Research you can be assured that we will carry out every aspect of your case from contacting all the relevant heirs to the estate here in the UK and Overseas to putting in place all of the legal requirements needed to finalise a probate estate.
We have a team of solicitors who are expert in Scottish and English Probate Law so no matter which side of the boarder your case is on we know we are providing the best advice to you.
Heir Hunters can provide a family with answers to what has happened to their missing family member.
One of the most rewarding aspects of researching estate, whether they are listed on the government treasury lists or whether they are estates being issued in a Will held by a solicitor is that we have the privileged position of being able to tell family members what has happened to their estranged family members.
Take for example a probate case which we administered for clients recently, the deceased benefactor “Adam” passed away without leaving a valid will, he had no close family where he passed away.
Gengenie Research discovered that Adam had been born in Scotland to Irish parents. Further investigation directed us to the location of maternal cousins of the deceased who were in their later years. After several months of discussions and further investigation it emerged that “Adam” had in fact a half-brother “Peter” whom none of the cousins had heard from in over 50 years.
Adam and Peter had lost their mother when they were young boys and as they had different fathers they were raised by extended family, not knowing what had happened to each other.
Peter had in fact pre-deceased his half-brother Adam but had several children who inherited their uncle’s small estate.
After the case was finalized and the estate administered we sent each of the heirs along with the cousins of Adam and Peter a printed family tree with their family history which covered Scotland, Ireland and England.
We were able to tell the cousins that although Peter had not been seen or heard of in over 50 years he had lived a full happy life, marrying and having several children and grandchildren.
*Names have been change to protect identity