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  • FIRST POST
    • Sophy
    • By Sophy 12th Jul 17, 7:46 PM
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    Sophy
    I need advice regarding contact from an heir hunter firm - can it wait?
    • #1
    • 12th Jul 17, 7:46 PM
    I need advice regarding contact from an heir hunter firm - can it wait? 12th Jul 17 at 7:46 PM
    Dad is overseas at the moment, and I regularly call in to his place to check everything is ticking over, open his mail etc, at his request. A few weeks ago he had a letter from a firm of probate genealogists about a mystery relation's death (they don't say who), along with a contract for him to sign - tbh I thought it was probably a scam, put it in a pile and forgot about it.


    They've written again, to tell him that all the other potential inheritors have signed on with them, and he needs to act soon, or risk losing an inheritance


    I've googled them, and they do seem to be an authentic firm. Is haste necessary in this case? I don't want to contact them on his behalf - don't know if he'd want anything to do with them, even if they are real. And I can't act for Dad legally anyway. But I don't want him to lose out if speed is of the essence. That doesn't make sense to me though. Surely it can wait a while before his share (if there is one) gets divided between any other inheritors?


    I don't really want to try to explain the situation to him over the phone unless I have to, as he's overseas to give support in rather a sad, stressful situation, and has enough on his plate already to want to be bothered with this right now.


    I have asked one of his 2nd cousins that I know if anyone contacted them, but they haven't, and I'm not in touch with any others on his side of the family.


    Sorry for the essay, but if anyone has any thoughts on whether I really do need to be bothering him with this, or if it can wait a few weeks, I'd be really grateful to hear them!
Page 1
    • Crabapple
    • By Crabapple 12th Jul 17, 7:58 PM
    • 1,543 Posts
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    Crabapple
    • #2
    • 12th Jul 17, 7:58 PM
    • #2
    • 12th Jul 17, 7:58 PM
    It's a bit cheeky suggesting he may lose out, as if he's a beneficiary they can't just dole out his share to anyone else!
    Daughter born January 2012 Son born February 2014

    Slimming World ~ trying to get back on the wagon...
    • UKTigerlily
    • By UKTigerlily 12th Jul 17, 8:00 PM
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    UKTigerlily
    • #3
    • 12th Jul 17, 8:00 PM
    • #3
    • 12th Jul 17, 8:00 PM
    Sounds like a scam; when I inherited I had first off, known someone had died & secondly, a solicitors wrote to me I *think* with the cheque & a letter to sign & return. They wouldn't say all the others have signed, that isn't relevant
    • Sophy
    • By Sophy 12th Jul 17, 8:04 PM
    • 479 Posts
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    Sophy
    • #4
    • 12th Jul 17, 8:04 PM
    • #4
    • 12th Jul 17, 8:04 PM
    It's a bit cheeky suggesting he may lose out, as if he's a beneficiary they can't just dole out his share to anyone else!
    Originally posted by Crabapple


    Well, that's what I thought! Plus they sort of imply it, rather than say so outright, if you know what I mean, which seems so manipulative. I suppose it either is a scam, or they want their commission pronto.
    • TonyMMM
    • By TonyMMM 12th Jul 17, 8:46 PM
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    TonyMMM
    • #5
    • 12th Jul 17, 8:46 PM
    • #5
    • 12th Jul 17, 8:46 PM
    Ring the company and explain he is away and will deal with it when he returns ?

    If it is a reputable firm of heir hunters, there is no reason to think it is a scam. It makes their job easier if they can sign up all the beneficiaries - but he can still claim himself.
    • Primrose
    • By Primrose 12th Jul 17, 8:51 PM
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    Primrose
    • #6
    • 12th Jul 17, 8:51 PM
    • #6
    • 12th Jul 17, 8:51 PM
    I know two individuals who have received genuine unexpected inheritances through this route so it may not be a scam. I suggest you reply saying your father is out of the country at the moment on an urgent family matter and that as you have no legal powers to make a decision on his behalf the matter will need to wait for his personal attention on his return home.
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 14th Jul 17, 11:45 AM
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    TBagpuss
    • #7
    • 14th Jul 17, 11:45 AM
    • #7
    • 14th Jul 17, 11:45 AM
    It probably is not a scam.

    In his position, I would check the bona vacentia list (https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/unclaimed-estates-list) and ring round his family to see if anyone knows who has died, first.

    If he claims through the heir hunter firm they will take a finders fee. If he finds out which relative / estate it is himself then he will get his full share of the estate without any deduction.

    There is no major need for haste. If he has a cliam, he isn't going to lose out. It's probably urgent for *them* because they want eveyone signed up before they disclose who the relative is , so that they get a fee from all the heirs. At present they may be in a situation where everyone else has indeed agreed, and is asking for more details, and they want him on board before disclosing those details on the assumption that he'll probably hear through a relation and won't need them, otherwise!
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 14th Jul 17, 1:55 PM
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    Red-Squirrel
    • #8
    • 14th Jul 17, 1:55 PM
    • #8
    • 14th Jul 17, 1:55 PM
    If he's due to inherit, then surely he will inherit now whatever happens? If somebody else has agreed to pay them to administer the estate and he is a beneficiary he can just wait for the money now, no?
    • bugslet
    • By bugslet 14th Jul 17, 2:11 PM
    • 5,674 Posts
    • 27,921 Thanks
    bugslet
    • #9
    • 14th Jul 17, 2:11 PM
    • #9
    • 14th Jul 17, 2:11 PM
    Sounds like a scam; when I inherited I had first off, known someone had died & secondly, a solicitors wrote to me I *think* with the cheque & a letter to sign & return. They wouldn't say all the others have signed, that isn't relevant
    Originally posted by UKTigerlily
    I had one such letter middle of last year, looked the company up, seemed they were legit. Nothing heard for months after, then it was forwarded to a solicitors. The solicitors duly got in touch and also gave me a name - which I don't recognise but the surname was my paternal grandmother's maiden name. I'm currently waiting to see what happens next - it's getting quite exciting. I've no idea how many recipients there are or what the estate is worth, whatever, it's exciting.

    OP, is it not worth writing a letter to them explaining the position and see what they say. I read that your father is overseas and dealing with a difficult time, but if the heir hunter company would accept a scan, would that be possible for him to do?
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