What happens when someone passes away and there isn’t any proof of living heirs? The certain cases, the estate cannot be closed until this question is answered.
We at International Investigator, Inc. get many calls regarding heirs and if there are living relatives who are entitled to a portion of the estate?
You read in the papers or hear others talk about an unknown relative who passed away leaving them with money and they didn’t even know they had a rich relative. It’s a windfall for them but for the trustee of the estate, it can be a daunting experience. And how are these unknown heirs or relatives found? Finding people has a starting point of the Subject at hand. A background investigation upon the Subject to obtain possible relatives would be the first step. The format would be that direct decedents would have the preference, barring direct decedents then parents and siblings, and from there, nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles and cousins. This is time-consuming and requires some type of knowledge of locating missing persons. It also involves legitimate databases that only private investigators or a similar field have access too. In this capacity, a private investigator would be an Heir finder.
International Investigators, Inc. is experienced in finding unknown heirs and that includes the ability to find relatives outside of the US. Take for instance the case in which the Subject passed away; his family heritage was German. His parents both emigrated from Germany with a young son, but our Subject was born a US Citizen. He never married, his half-brother never married and his aunt married but did not have any children. He had the good luck of outliving all his US relatives. His parents hardly spoke of their life or family in Germany, they were not proud of the country they left, therefore he knew very little about their life before coming to America. His last years were spent in a nursing home with one fairly close friend who was the trustee of the estate and even to him; he did not discuss family matters. The attorney contacted us to assist them and the trustee in their search to find missing heirs. The living will stated that a portion of the estate would go to any relatives living in Europe if there were any. From this investigation we learned the year his father entered the US, the year his mother and half-brother entered along with his aunt, his mother’s sister. We learned of his father’s military record in Germany and where his father worked in the US upon entering the country. We could find no living relatives in the US. We could find no record of any relatives in the small town of Germany where both his parents had once lived or surrounding towns.
The heir search ended and the estate was settled. The trustee of the estate felt confident that no one would come forward to challenge the estate once it was closed.
-C. Tim Wilcox, CEO
-B. McGinley, Director of Operations