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The key role of an Heir Hunter is trace next of kin and find entitled beneficiaries. If we were to sum up our job that’s what we would say. That may sound straight forward but the nature of our job is far more complex than it may sound. After all, if it was easy people would do it themselves when the need arises. Truthfully, the expertise and resources to perform such tasks is so niche it would be near impossible for a member of the public to attempt.

Why is that?

Dealing with probate yourself can be a heavy burden. Especially, if you are still mourning the loss of someone close, it often becomes too much on top of the array of emotions already at play. Moreover, the probate process can be increasingly complex depending on the family situation. The settlement of an estate must include all rightful beneficiaries in cases of intestacy. Missing someone out can cause huge legal issues down the line. In most cases though, you will know who the beneficiaries are. Say it’s a parent who has passed away, you would need to ensure all the children are included in the list of beneficiaries (depending their spouse had predeceased them or separated).

The financial side

That is only one aspect of the probate process. There is also the financial side of dealing with probate. Ordering certificates is an imperative part of the process. Certificates prove entitlement to the estate and can be quite costly. The certificates can cost up £35 per certificate, so with multiple beneficiaries this can prove quite expensive. You must also apply for a grant of probate which allows you to deal with the estate, costing £300. Asset searches help discover any hidden assets which can make up the estate, this cost £450. In some instances, you may need to perform a property clearance. If necessary, you can hire a property clearance team. This can be a considerable amount of money ranging between 10k and 20k in extreme cases. This is often performed to sell the property. This means that a property valuation must take place which in turn costs between £500-£1000. A will search is a requirement when dealing with probate as it ensures the estate is truly left to the correct people. If there is an unknown will and you treat it as case of intestacy, distributing the estate to the wrong people, there can be huge legal ramifications.

In addition, you must also pay inheritance tax on estates over £325,000 which must be paid up front for probate to be granted. That means if a property is worth £350,000 you must produce £140,000 which for almost everyone would be near impossible. This is where finance companies become involved, lending you the money with a high interest rate. Needless to say, dealing with probate yourself can be a financial and mental burden.

Tracing Beneficiaries

When it comes to the beneficiary tracing side of the business, our resources are not readily available to the public. Only select businesses can have access to the product as it holds sensitive information about UK residents. Furthermore, this resource is highly expensive. It greatly helps when dealing with copious amounts of cases and is used all day every day, but for a few searches for one estate it would not prove cost effective. There is also a level of expertise and experience which is required to ensure accuracy with tracing the correct people. Our team of genealogist and researchers have decades of experience in the industry, finding beneficiaries in every continent except Antarctica.

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