How HeirSearch Helps Public Administrators Fulfill Their Fiduciary Duty


By: HeirSearch.

Public administrators are government-appointed officials responsible for the distribution of a deceased person’s estate. Their task of distributing an estate’s assets may be relatively straightforward when the estate’s heirs are known, but when heirs are missing, unknown, or unidentifiable, fulfilling their fiduciary duty and satisfying the court becomes quite complex.

When overseeing the dispersion of assets for an estate where heirs are missing or unknown, public administrators have two choices: 1) Conduct the search alone, or 2) Enlist the services of an accredited heir search firm.

Here, we’ll explain why we believe it strongly behooves public administrators to take the latter approach and why HeirSearch has earned a reputation as one of the industry’s most established, dependable firms offering such services.

Let’s get into it.

The risks of conducting an heir search alone

While public administrators are experts in probate law, they are unlikely to possess the unique skills or have access to the information required to conduct a successful heir search alone. Heir searching can be extremely time-consuming and demanding. Consequently, administrators may be unable to lawfully distribute the estate’s entitled portions without the guidance of a professional heir search firm.

Often, an in-depth search is required to find one or many more of the people who stand to inherit an estate’s assets. In some cases, the heirs may have lost touch with the decedent. Sometimes the contact information for heirs is simply outdated, or the decedent will fail to specify how they’d like their estate to be distributed or didn’t leave a will.

The search may even cross borders in these complex cases, which requires navigating local laws, languages, cultural norms, or even political conflicts. In general, public administrators face significant risks and informational gaps that may prevent them from conducting an effective heir search alone.

The importance of hiring a reputable firm to local heirs

While many firms claim reputability, public administrators must consider several vital guidelines when selecting an heir search firm to engage.

Firstly, it is critical to understand the prospective firm’s fee methodologies. Because budgeting is an essential aspect of settling an estate, selecting a firm with an hourly, non-%-based fee structure will ensure the maximization of an estate’s assets versus a firm that charges a percentage of the estate.

Public administrators must also ensure the firm can conduct national and international searches and that the firm has adequate errors and omissions insurance to protect all parties. They should always review industry references and associations to guarantee that the firm is in good standing.

Finally, the prospective firm must be competent in forensic genealogy. Forensic genealogists have the invaluable, specialized knowledge and the network of resources required to conduct estate-based research across the globe.

HeirSearch checks all the boxes

At HeirSearch, we are proud to say that We Find Missing Heirs a Better Way®. We pride ourselves as the ideal partner for public administrators dealing with an estate where its heirs and beneficiaries are missing or unknown. Here’s why:

Reasonable, Non-Percentage-Based Fees

Our fees are quoted in advance and determined by a set fee schedule based on the type of search and its unique requirements—never as a percentage of the trust or estate.

Professional Forensic Genealogical Researchers

Boasting shared experience of more than 130 years, our team of forensic genealogical researchers has completed tens of thousands of searches. Our researchers include experts in history, forensics, sociology, geography, private investigation, and archival management.

Superior Data

We have access to a vast and dynamic range of databases used for proprietary searches and leverage the resources of respected third parties. We also have archival records and a library with an international scope.

Extensive Network of Worldwide Resources

We have connections, resources, and relationships that span every continent and together allow us to access information quickly, efficiently, and cost-effectively.

Do you need help establishing heirship to an estate ?

Overall, conducting an heir search without the assistance of a reputable, proven firm is a risky endeavor for public administrators. Since 1967, HeirSearch has provided public administrators with a forensic genealogy-based solution to fulfill their fiduciary duty through our five-pillar approach. This approach consists of reasonable, non-percentage-based fees, authorized search services, a 97% success rate; documented court-ready reports; and worldwide service.

As the industry’s leading forensic genealogy experts and heir finders, we can help with the most complex probate cases, spanning multiple genealogical connections and geographies.

Feel free to reach out with any questions — we look forward to working with you!

Phone: +1 (800)-663-2255

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This report is for informational purposes only and is intended only as a reference. HeirSearch does not endorse or recommend any of the products or services offered in the third-party articles or content contained within. We cannot guarantee the accuracy or effectiveness of the same and will not assume any liability related to the same. Additionally, nothing contained herein may be construed as legal advice. All offers are void where prohibited by law. Copyright © International Genealogical Search Inc. All rights reserved.