Heir Hunters Series 9 Preview - Finders are back in action!

It was all hands on deck when the case of Roger Stuart Lennon, initially referred privately to the Finders team became public. Aware that competing firms would also be seeking out Roger's rightful heirs, Finders boss Daniel Curran put everyone on the job of tracing Roger's beneficiaries.

CATCH up - Finders on BBC Heir Hunters Series 8

Follow Finders team of researchers along the exciting trail of discovery that leads through a family history that covers the First World War and shines a light on the old world of domestic service. Meet family members and hear their recollections as the Finders team trace Pub Landlord Michael Naish’s heirs in this episode of the new series of Heir Hunters..

Finders International Probate Genealogists
Finders are one of the world’s leading firms of international probate genealogists. We trace missing heirs and next of kin for Lawyers, Corporate & State Trustees, Councils, Administrators, Executors, Hospitals, Coroners & others needing to identify and locate beneficiaries to estates, funds and assets worldwide.

Frequently asked questions

We hope the following Frequently Asked Questions will be of use for general information but please do not hesitate to contact Finders with any other enquiries.

What is probate genealogy?

  • If someone dies without leaving a Will, they are said to have died intestate. Probate genealogists, or heir hunters, undertake research in order to identify and locate the rightful beneficiaries to their assets.
  • In instances where there are no known family members, the Treasury Lawyer will take steps to claim the funds on behalf of the Crown. Without heir hunters, the next of kin would not be aware of their entitlement.

Where does the name heir hunting come from?

  • The job is traditionally known as probate genealogy but, as a result of the BBC television programme of the same name, “Heir Hunters”has become popular vernacular.

If I use your services, will I feature on TV without my consent?

  • No! Although Finders have become part of the BBC’s “Heir Hunters” programme, you will never be named or featured without your prior approval. We regard client confidentiality extremely highly and are bound strictly by the Data Protection Act and our ISO accreditations.

How can I be sure this matter is genuine?

  • Whilst Finders are well known and highly reputable international firm of probate genealogists we acknowledge our contact may come as a complete surprise to those involved.
  • Details of our credentials and accreditations can be found here and Testimonials can be read here.

Is the industry regulated?

  • There is no governing or regulatory body for probate genealogy. The Heir Hunters Association is a privately owned business providing advice to Heir Hunter businesses in exchange for a fee, they do not have any regulatory role whatsoever. Finders have therefore sought to gain accreditations to provide prospective heirs with peace of mind. We are also the only UK firm with a Professional Conduct Code.as well as numerous accreditations.

My family never had any money, how can this be true?

  • This is a common statement we hear from beneficiaries! However, once the genealogy is unravelled, you may find that the Deceased is a very distant relative you have never heard of and you could be surprised.

How have you obtained my contact details?

  • We use information from within the public domain including, but not limited to the use of birth, marriage and death indexes, census returns and electoral roll data. We also have a number of in-house research tools and numerous databases to facilitate research.
  • Your personal and private details will never be passed, or sold on, to any 3rd party without your prior permission. We are Data Protection Registered and ISO approved.

Will more than one company contact me?

  • Possibly. Finders receive a high volume of cases from Lawyers or private sources in the UK and around the world and our expert services may have been specially sought by the Estate custodians.
  • Alternatively we may also instigate and fund research on cases from competitive sources where there is no one legally appointed to deal with an intestate Estate. In these case you may receive correspondence from more than one firm.Ensure you are comfortable with the reputation of a company before signing. There are, unfortunately, some rogue traders to be avoided at all costs​

Can I visit Finders office to discuss the case further, or can you send someone to see me in person?

  • We always welcome beneficiaries to visit our offices in order to talk through our research and explain why we have contacted you. Should you wish to arrange a visit, please contact your Case Manager. Alternatively we can usually send one of our representatives to visit you if this is more convenient for you.

What happens after signing your agreement?

  • Once Finders have completed the necessary family research and received the required documents back from the entitled kin, we will collate the full findings into a family report for the Estate Custodians (usually a firm of Lawyers). They will then work through the estate administration which involves collecting the estate assets and settling any liabilities. Once the Lawyers have the net sum for distribution, they will be in a position to calculate each beneficiary’s entitlement and proceed with distribution of funds.

How are the Lawyers paid?

  • Any Lawyers fees will be borne by the Estate and settled before any distribution takes place. Beneficiaries will not be liable to the Lawyers costs. For added reassurance Finders have arranged preferential terms with a panel of independent firms of Lawyers . There are no referral fees between us and these firms, but when they are chosen to administer an estate they have agreed to cancel all their fees should the net estate be insolvent or amount to less than £500. Thus, by using one of Finders panel of Lawyers you can never be left with any legal fees to pay personally​

How long will I have to wait for my inheritance?

  • The administration process takes an average of 6-18 months from the date of our report until distribution by the Lawyers . However, this is a guideline only and you will appreciate that each case is different.

How much money am I due?

  • It is not uncommon for Finders to have begun research speculatively and be unaware of the Estate value. In Bona Vacantia cases we will have to wait until the kin claim has been admitted until an approximate Estate value is known. Your actual share is then defined by Intestacy Law and advice on how this works can be found here.

If the claim is unsuccessful, will I be liable to any costs?

  • No. We waive our costs and commission if the claim is unsuccessful for any reason.

What happens to the Deceased’s personal effects?

  • Generally, any of the Deceased’s personal possessions considered of value will ultimately be liquidised into cash and will form part of the asset value of the Estate to be divided between the family.
  • Other items such as old family photographs, may have been retained and the Estate Custodians may be able to arrange to have these copied or sent to the interested beneficiaries.