Unclaimed estate - what next?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Deaths, Funerals & Probate
10 replies 1.8K views
mkshizzlemkshizzle Forumite
14 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Deaths, Funerals & Probate
Good evening, I've recently been contacted by a probate research company stating I may be entitled to a share in the estate of my Great Aunty. I've done a little research and discovered that these sort of companies charge up to 35% for doing the work for you, so I've decided to look at doing the work myself. Now from reading the TSol site it appears that all I have to do is prove my relationship to the deceased before they will look to settle the estate.
I've a couple of questions I'd like some advice on though....
  1. Our family aren't that close, so I know my Dad had a sister, but we've not spoken in over 30 years, so if I decide to pursue this, am I required to track them down? (please do not think I would not want them to have their share. I've no idea where they are, so it may be easier to let the Probate Company handle it?)
  2. Has anyone ever done this themselves or is a solicitor advisable?
Many Thanks


Sue

Replies

  • meritatenmeritaten
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    It is possible to Do It Yourself - and the Probate service will help you! Now you know there is a possible inheritance and the name of the deceased, contact them and ask what the next step is.
    I believe you will find details on the directgov site. I think it is up to you to provide 'proof' of your relationship to the deceased. I do not think you have to search for possible cousins (I bet the heirhunters have done that).
    It should be fairly straightforward - and if you DO run into difficulties it is always possible to engage a solicitor! If the estate is worth the cost of course. but, it must be worth at least 5K or it would not be attracting the attention of one of these companies.
    Try it yourself hun.
  • Thanks, I've sent an email to TSol who are the government department dealing with the estate, outlining my relationship. I suppose I best wait and see what they have to say. I suppose it's a race against time now, if the Heir Hunters get to it first, then I'll be left with paying up to 35% to claim any of it. But if I sort it myself then I don't have to pay their fees.

    Thanks

    Sue
  • floss2floss2 Forumite
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    Bear in mind that there may well be legal fees incurred for dealing with the Treasury Solicitor and for getting all the relevant legal bits done. The 30% - 35% fee that firms like Fraser Fraser or Hoopers charge includes the beneficiaries legal fees. My 87 y.o. FiL is going through the process with Fraser Fraser at the moment.
  • MojisolaMojisola Forumite
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    It's unlikely that you will be the only person entitled to inherit. You will have to do all the work that the heir hunters have already done and find all the other people so that you know what your share will be. You will also need insurance in case you miss someone who turns up later with a claim on the estate.
  • SlinkySlinky Forumite
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    My friend was contacted by Fraser and Fraser who had found her and her cousin were distantly related to somebody who had died that they hadn't known.

    My friend and her cousin decided to deal with it themselves, which personally I thought was a bit off seeing that if F&F hadn't found them, they would never have known of this relatives existence.

    If it was me in those circumstances I would prefer to have 65% of something and let the people who kindly brought it to my attention have their fee.
  • seashore22seashore22 Forumite
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    Agree with slinky.
  • meritatenmeritaten
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    mkshizzle wrote: »
    Thanks, I've sent an email to TSol who are the government department dealing with the estate, outlining my relationship. I suppose I best wait and see what they have to say. I suppose it's a race against time now, if the Heir Hunters get to it first, then I'll be left with paying up to 35% to claim any of it. But if I sort it myself then I don't have to pay their fees.

    Thanks

    Sue

    It isnt a race - its not first come first served! if you are a legititimate heir you will get your share!
    The heir hunters merely put in a claim on your behalf, in much the same way a solicitor would! and charge accordingly!
    you can put in your own claim and providing you fill in the paperwork and your claim is 'proved', ie you are related to the deceased you will have a 'share' of the estate.
  • alwaysonthego_2alwaysonthego_2 Forumite
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    MOVING THREADS FOR BETTER RESPONSES


    Hi, Martin’s asked me to post this in these circumstances: I’ve asked Board Guides to move threads if they’ll receive a better response elsewhere (please see this rule) so this post/thread has been moved to another board, where it should get more replies. If you have any questions about this policy please email [EMAIL="forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com"][email protected][/EMAIL].
  • dancingfairydancingfairy Forumite
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    I would assume also, that the commission is negotiable. Sure Fraser and Fraser etc will have standard commission rates but if they think the competition will approach you then they may be amenable to take a hit on their commission so they at least earn somethign for all the hard work they have put in already.
    Also I assume you can't just rock up and say I'm so and so's cousion (or whatever) please can I have the money because even if you can prove who you are, and your relationship, surely you have to prove who should inherit it (ie you will need to research the whole family tree to prove who should inherit what)?
    df
    Making my money go further with MSE :j
    How much can I save in 2012 challenge
    75/1200 :eek:
  • getmore4lessgetmore4less Forumite
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    You only pay if you sign.

    your right to the share does not change so just not signing is enough.

    Whoever eventualy takes on the estate has to do the due diligence and find the rightfull hiers.

    The pecking order for the right to administer the estate does not change.

    Eventualy someone has to apply to the probate office to administer the estate with the relevent supporting documents.
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