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Heir Hunter

37 replies 3K views
Hi everyone,
A few months ago we were approached by a genealogist research company stating that an elderly relative had died intestate.
There were three benificieries and the company would charge 30%.
We contacted the company and told them that we did not want to use their services.
Today, we received a letter with a cheque from the company stating they were distributing the assets of the estate.
They had taken 85% of the estate in fees.
The estate is a reasonable size.
We contacted the company repeatedly this morning but they have not returned our calls.
Any advice would be most appreciated.

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Replies

  • FlugelhornFlugelhorn Forumite
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    sounds like one of the other beneficiaries agreed for them to do the work?  Did you do anything about getting letters of administration when they contacted you previously?
  • CalumFinnertyCalumFinnerty Forumite
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    No. They did not say who the relative was.
    We were in the process of researching the family tree.
    I have read elsewhere that in a similar situation the person who didn't hire the genealogy company didn't have to pay their fees.
    85% of the estate is a huge amount compared to the 30% they stated in the proposed contract.
    We have called them repeatedly this morning but they are not replying.


  • zx81zx81 Forumite
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    What figures were in the letter? It sounds like you may be confusing fees with inheritance tax and other costs.
  • CalumFinnertyCalumFinnerty Forumite
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    The estate was below the threshold for inheritance tax.
    The fee in the contract was a fixed 30% of the estate.
    If you divide the remaining 70% of the estate by 3 for the beneficieries, the amount is incorrect.
    We have received 1/5th of what we should have.

  • zx81zx81 Forumite
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    You'll need to post up the key figures to get any clarity. Remember to also factor in VAT. 
  • CalumFinnertyCalumFinnerty Forumite
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    £90,000 estate
    £4,450 cheque
  • edited 31 July at 1:38PM
    Robin9Robin9 Forumite
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    edited 31 July at 1:38PM
    Is this a full and final payment or a payment on account ?

    Or did they find more beneficiaries ?
    Never pay on an estimated bill
  • CalumFinnertyCalumFinnerty Forumite
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    First, thank you all for taking the time to reply.
    Still no reply from the company.
    Please find encl a cheque for the share due to you
  • edited 31 July at 1:47PM
    zx81zx81 Forumite
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    edited 31 July at 1:47PM
    £90,000 estate
    £4,450 cheque
    You need to ask for the full figures.  Estate value, expenses, fee, VAT, liabilities, distributed assets etc.
  • CalumFinnertyCalumFinnerty Forumite
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    There was a statment:
    ...we are now in a position to distribute the remaining balance.
    Please find encl a cheque for the share due to you.
    A cheque was attached.
    Nothing else!
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