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.

The Laughing Heir – Intestacy in Scotland

The term Laughing Heir taken from the German ‘der lachende Erbe’ refers to heirs whose relationship to the deceased is so distant they suffer no sense of bereavement but are happy to receive an unexpected financial windfall.

Some legal systems have attempted to avoid it by placing limits on the degree of relationship which entitles someone to inherit on an intestate estate. The intestacy laws of England and the Uniform Probate Code of the US restrict the family relationships which entitle relatives to benefit from an intestate estate to grandparents and their descendants. This has, however, not been the case in Scotland.

The law on the order of inheritance on intestacy in Scotland is currently governed by section 2 of the Succession (Scotland) Act 1964. In simple terms this provides that; where an intestate is not survived by any prior relative, the ancestors of the intestate (being remoter than grandparents) generation by generation successively, shall have right to the whole of the intestate estate. This provides no limitation on the relatives who can inherit on intestacy, and thus leaves open the possibility of inheritance by a laughing heir.

Since devolution, where no entitled beneficiaries can be traced, the estate is transferred to the Scottish Consolidation Fund. However anyone who knew the deceased and feels they are ‘deserving’ of a share from the estate is entitled to apply to the Queen’s and Lord Treasurer’s Rembrancer for a discretionary payment.

So if intestacy is complicated in England where tracing heirs can involve extensive research it is even more so in Scotland. That’s why Finders International has a dedicated Scottish office with staff who have specialist knowledge of the Law of Succession and who apart from tracing beneficiaries to intestacies provide a dedicated heir tracing service for the legal profession.