All over the country, every day, people will receive a call from an Heir Hunting company, informing them of a potential inheritance. This can be met with both optimism and excitement as well as extreme suspicion. And understandably so. In the era of the internet, scams are all too common. Hearing of a possible inheritance from someone you’ve never heard of can certainly raise alarm bells. However, probate research firms like ourselves are genuine, and recommend the following ways to check the legitimacy of Heir Hunting companies.
Check their legitimacy
There are numerous ways to check the validity of any company. Of course, anyone can have a website but it is still a good sign, especially if their website is rich with content. Moreover, a healthy presence on Google is also a positive indication of validity. Having a Google business account provides, contact information, an address and reviews from clients. All of which would be difficult to uphold if the company was not legitimate. Positive reviews alone should hopefully enforce some trust from potential clients. Furthermore, if correspondence has been via email, ensure that the senders email address matches that of the company name or website. Any reputable Heir Hunting company would not email the public with personal email addresses.
In a legitimate case, the Heir Hunters will know a lot of information about the estate in question. Therefore, asking plenty of questions can ensure that the researchers contacting you truly know about an estate you are entitled to. However, not all questions can be answered at the start of the process. Though a general value of the estate can be known with certain cases with properties, there is no way of knowing an exact value of most estates. You can, however, ask about beneficiaries on the estate. If the case is from your Mothers side you can ask if they have contacted family on that side to ensure they have made a family tree like true probate researchers would have.
Check where the case has come from
Our cases originate from numerous places. Although there are instances where a case is privately referred by the legal sector or a private client, more often than not they are accessible to the public. This is through the Bona Vacantia and appeals to locate family through police and council websites.
You are more than welcome to ask where a case has come from. If an Heir Hunting company is reluctant to provide that information you can question their validity.
After ensuring the Heir Hunting company is legitimate…
You need to be realistic about what you are expecting from the estate. In some instances, beneficiaries may inherit life-changing amounts of money. However, in most cases an estate is divided among many distant relatives, reducing the individual shares of the estate substantially. Even though shares are reduced with the number of beneficiaries, the payout is depending on the size of the estate The size of an individual share differs depending on the size of the estate.
Before signing the contract
Its important to know your rights and what to expect when signing your contract. First of all, things change and you may wish to go down a different avenue after initially signing. Blanchards understand this. Therefore, you have the right to cancel your contract with us up to two weeks after signing. This hopefully makes the decision to sign with us easier also. Furthermore, you can expect updates from us throughout the process, with the option to contact us and ask for an update whenever you please.
If you have any questions about Blanchards and the process please contact us here.