What Happens if an Estate is Missing Heirs?

Lawyers that Handle Complex Probate Cases

Individuals who handle estates have a duty to make a diligent effort to find any missing heirs, so that these heirs receive any inheritance left to them. However, as our attorney discusses in this video, oftentimes those in charge of estates do not perform the search as thoroughly as they should. If you are involved in an estate that is missing heirs, talk to attorney Charles Triay who is a specialist in contested probate litigation in California.

Video Transcription

We do get involved in cases with missing heirs. There’s a couple of interesting features to those cases. First of all, the person who’s handling the estate is required to make a diligent effort to locate missing heirs. These are generally cases where there is no will or trust, and so you’re trying to find cousins or nieces and nephews.

There is usually a financial incentive to not look very hard, and so oftentimes the people in charge of the estate really don’t look as hard as they should. There are firms in California that specialize in locating missing heirs and signing them up for a percentage, but there are strict laws governing that heir hunter or heir finder practice.