When individuals die without an estate plan, this issue can cause many complications for an estate. In some cases, there may not be any close surviving family to immediately take over the estate administration, and as a result, a court-appointed party may take on that duty. Though that individual must attend to the estate, there may be some surviving family who could have a stake in an inheritance.
Maryland residents may be interested in one out-of-state man whose job it is to hunt down relatives for people who have died intestate. This probate researcher typically works with estates that have a considerable amount of money attached to them and no beneficiaries to claim that money. As part of his duties, he researches in hopes of finding an eligible heir.
In some cases, it can prove difficult to find an heir, and the man's research may even require speaking with individuals in other countries. In many instances, he has successfully found individuals to inherit estates, and he acts as a witness to prove the relationship to the court. If his testimony is successful, the individuals gain part or the entirety of an estate.
Though these actions can help prevent a person's estate from going unclaimed, a proper estate plan could reduce the necessity for such actions. Therefore, Maryland residents may wish to consider creating an estate plan in order to ensure that their remaining money and assets go to the parties they desire and that their estate administration goes smoothly. Discussing these interests with experienced attorneys could help individuals get their affairs in order.
Source: New York Daily News, "Long Island man treasures job as heir hunter", James Fanelli, May 15, 2017