Discussion:
Heir-hunters
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John Ashby
2020-09-10 06:14:28 UTC
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Since umra knows everything:

I have recently been contacted by no less than four probate genealogists
chasing my custom in claiming on the estate of a deceased intestate
cousin. Do any of you have experience of or opinions on such services?
Or should I try and do it myself?

john
Dumrat
2020-09-10 06:30:09 UTC
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I have recently been contacted by no less than four probate genealogists chasing my custom
in claiming on the estate of a deceased intestate cousin. Do any of you have experience of
or opinions on such services? Or should I try and do it myself?
I know nothing, but in your situation, my first port of call would be here:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/make-a-claim-to-a-deceased-persons-estate, and I'd work out if
I had the time, energy and inclination to do it myself or if I thought it would be worth
employing a probate genealogist to act on my behalf.

I am sorry for your loss.
--
Salaam Alaykum,
Anne, Exceptionally Traditionally-built Dumrat
Flop
2020-09-10 07:44:56 UTC
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Post by John Ashby
I have recently been contacted by no less than four probate genealogists
chasing my custom in claiming on the estate of a deceased intestate
cousin. Do any of you have experience of or opinions on such services?
Or should I try and do it myself?
john
Try:
https://www.thegazette.co.uk/wills-and-probate

there is often a time limit as the notices are intended to confirm that
an estate will not have sudden unexpected claims when the beneficiaries
have already been paid.

If you can identify the deceased then you can advise the probate office
that you wish to make a claim. DIY.
--
Flop

Truly the Good Lord gave us computers that we might learn patience
J. P. Gilliver (John)
2020-09-10 08:15:45 UTC
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Post by John Ashby
I have recently been contacted by no less than four probate
genealogists chasing my custom in claiming on the estate of a deceased
intestate cousin. Do any of you have experience of or opinions on such
services? Or should I try and do it myself?
john
Interesting! I've never actually heard of anyone I know being so
contacted, though obviously it does happen, as I've seen TV prog.s about
the people who do it; so, four at once suggests (a) that a _reasonable_
sum is involved, (b) it's probably not _that_ distant a cousin, and/or
the tracing task hasn't been that difficult.

When you say "chasing my custom", that implies they want money (fair
enough). Did they clarify whether they're after a flat fee regardless, a
flat fee on success, or a percentage?

Did they name, or give _any_ details of, the deceased?

I'd say have a go yourself, but my experience as a genealogist is of
course more of further-back researches. A good starting point is FreeBMD
(https://www.freebmd.org.uk/cgi/search.pl), but be aware that their data
has recent cut-off dates - about 198x [for births
(https://www.freebmd.org.uk/progressB.shtml#y1984), marriages
(https://www.freebmd.org.uk/progressM.shtml#y1984), and deaths
(https://www.freebmd.org.uk/progressD.shtml#y1984)], so you won't find
the recent death - but it should enable you to go back two or three
generations then forward. (Going back - [start with yourself and] find
birth, note mother's maiden name, then find parents' marriage [look for
marriages between relevant surnames], then find _their_ birth]; lather,
rinse, repeat. Coming forward, search for births by surnames of the
married couple [mother's maiden name not available before 191x;
hopefully you won't need to go back that far].) Unless you're unlucky
(you miss a link by transcription error or other reason, or you have a
very common pair of surnames), you should end up with a fair list of
cousins; it's then a matter of finding which one has died recently. The
GRO (https://www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/certificates/indexes_search.asp)
does have deaths (before 1957 and) 1984 to 2019.

Sounds interesting; I hope you still come to UMRA when you're rich (-:!
--
J. P. Gilliver. UMRA: 1960/<1985 MB++G()AL-IS-Ch++(p)***@T+H+Sh0!:`)DNAf

All's well that ends.
Anne B
2020-09-10 08:37:20 UTC
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Post by John Ashby
I have recently been contacted by no less than four probate
genealogists chasing my custom in claiming on the estate of a deceased
intestate cousin. Do any of you have experience of or opinions on such
services? Or should I try and do it myself?
I have a distant relative who does this sort of genealogical work
professionally. She contacted me years ago because she had been looking
for lost heirs, and one of them turned out to be someone who happened to
live not far from me and who knew me. She asked me to make contact
because she thought an approach by her, a complete stranger, might be
met with suspicion or hostility, whereas the 'lost heir' might be more
willing to trust an approach from me. I did so, put them in touch with
one another, and heard no more about the matter.

If I were you I would find out what these genealogists have to say. If
they are genuine they will tell you how they think you are related to
the deceased, and you can check it out for yourself using publicly
available sources.

If they won't tell you, or if they ask for payment to tell you, you
should smell a rat.

Anne B
Penny
2020-09-10 08:59:27 UTC
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On Thu, 10 Sep 2020 09:15:45 +0100, "J. P. Gilliver (John)"
Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
Coming forward, search for births by surnames of the
married couple [mother's maiden name not available before 191x;
hopefully you won't need to go back that far].)
It's available back to July 1837 on GRO - very useful.
--
Penny
Annoyed by The Archers since 1959
Sam Plusnet
2020-09-10 20:27:35 UTC
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Post by John Ashby
I have recently been contacted by no less than four probate genealogists
chasing my custom in claiming on the estate of a deceased intestate
cousin. Do any of you have experience of or opinions on such services?
Or should I try and do it myself?
I assume you knew (of?) this cousin, and therefore may know about other
relatives who would also be able to claim parts of the estate.

Rather than have each & every one employ someone to chase after an
inheritance (and perhaps spending more than the estate is worth), it
might be worth making contact with any of them that you know, and work
out some joint approach.
I think there are clear rules on how the estate should be divided.
If you don't want to DIY, you could share the cost of employing someone.
--
Sam Plusnet
Flop
2020-09-11 09:29:04 UTC
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Post by Sam Plusnet
Post by John Ashby
I have recently been contacted by no less than four probate
genealogists chasing my custom in claiming on the estate of a deceased
intestate cousin. Do any of you have experience of or opinions on such
services? Or should I try and do it myself?
I assume you knew (of?) this cousin, and therefore may know about other
relatives who would also be able to claim parts of the estate.
Rather than have each & every one employ someone to chase after an
inheritance (and perhaps spending more than the estate is worth), it
might be worth making contact with any of them that you know, and work
out some joint approach.
I think there are clear rules on how the estate should be divided.
If you don't want to DIY, you could share the cost of employing someone.
After thought...

...if they are a cousin, there must be another relative between you and
the deceased.

It may be worth a quick genealogical search (starting from yourself) to
try and find the missing link.

A word of warning, such search engines can be very hard to manipulate to
give meaningful results. For example, FreeBMD will only show the
registers. These contain the minimum of information (eg births give DOB
in a three month window, mother's maiden surname and county of birth).

Find a 'Smith' in the chain and give up.
--
Flop

Truly the Good Lord gave us computers that we might learn patience
John Ashby
2020-09-11 12:19:48 UTC
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Post by Flop
Post by Sam Plusnet
Post by John Ashby
I have recently been contacted by no less than four probate
genealogists chasing my custom in claiming on the estate of a
deceased intestate cousin. Do any of you have experience of or
opinions on such services? Or should I try and do it myself?
I assume you knew (of?) this cousin, and therefore may know about
other relatives who would also be able to claim parts of the estate.
Rather than have each & every one employ someone to chase after an
inheritance (and perhaps spending more than the estate is worth), it
might be worth making contact with any of them that you know, and work
out some joint approach.
I think there are clear rules on how the estate should be divided.
If you don't want to DIY, you could share the cost of employing someone.
After thought...
...if they are a cousin, there must be another relative between you and
the deceased.
It may be worth a quick genealogical search (starting from yourself) to
try and find the missing link.
A word of warning, such search engines can be very hard to manipulate to
give meaningful results. For example, FreeBMD will only show the
registers. These contain the minimum of information (eg births give DOB
in a three month window, mother's maiden surname and county of birth).
Find a 'Smith' in the chain and give up.
I know the chain of relationship - he's my father's brother's son - `and
the other potential beneficiaries - two sisters (estranged) and two
cousins (my father's sister's daughter and son), and could do a pretty
good job of knowing what documents to put together.

Since the genealogists work on a percentage basis there doesn't seem to
be much benefit to joining forces (even if the sisters were talking to
me) unless we could beat down the percentage.

Thanks for all the thoughts in this thread.

john

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