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Advice from the McKinstry Company on what to do if you are contacted by an Heir Hunter

In Scotland, a person will either die in testate which means they have left a valid Will detailing their testamentary wishes or intestate which means the deceased did not leave a valid Will. Before the deceased’s estate can be concluded, the automatic grant of Legal Rights must be dealt with (and Prior Rights in intestate estates). The beneficiaries to the estate must be notified of the deceased’s passing to allow them to either claim or discharge their rights to allow the estate administration to progress.

Genealogists, who are commonly referred to as “heir hunters”, will track down distant or missing family members of the deceased. An heir hunter may approach you to inform you that you are entitled to benefit from the deceased’s estate. It is likely that the heir hunter will request a percentage of the estate funds for their services. However, this may be maximum amount of information they are willing to tell you regarding the deceased and the value of their estate until you enter an agreement with them.

What to Do If You Are Approached by an Heir Hunter

It is important that if you are approached by an heir hunter that you carry out the necessary research if you choose to enter into an agreement with them. Carrying out the necessary research to ensure their information they are providing to you is accurate. Although they may not give much information away, ask as many questions as possible to get as much information from them as you can. This may help to prove whether they are genuine and whether it is worthwhile entering into an agreement with them.

Estate Administration Solicitors in Ayrshire & Dumfries and Galloway

We would recommend that if you are approached by an heir hunter and you are uncertain, seek legal advice here at The McKinstry Company and one of our experts will be able to guide you and advise on your particular circumstances further. Please contact us on 01292 388048 (Ayr), 01465 915042 (Girvan) or complete our online enquiry form.

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Our team of solicitors and support staff are still here for you. However we have postponed any face to face meetings, restricting communications to telephone, Skype and email. You can contact the Ayr office on 01292 281711 and the Girvan office on 01465 713118