and Your Family
Long Island Heir Finder
When someone passes away that person’s estate must be settled and property distributed. If the person left will, then his (or her) property is distributed by the executor of his estate to the individuals named as beneficiaries in his will. The beneficiaries could be relatives, friends, employees, and even institutions such as a charitable organization. If the person failed to write a will, then the estate administrator distributes the property to the decedent’s legal heirs according to New York’s rules related to intestate succession. Whether the decedent left a will or not, if a beneficiary or heir cannot be located, winding up the estate and distribution of assets can become complicated. If you are responsible for the administration of a decedent’s estate and are concerned about a missing beneficiary or heir, contact an experienced Long Island heir finder to discuss strategies for finding the missing heir as well as options in the event that the missing person is not located.Probate and missing heirs
Probate is the process during which a decedent’s estate is settled and property distributed. In the absence of the will, the process is called estate administration. One of the responsibilities of the executor is to notify beneficiaries and heirs of the death of the decedent. This gives beneficiaries and heirs notice of the death and that the estate is in the process of being settled. It also gives them the opportunity to challenge the will. When there are heirs that have been identified, but their addresses are unknown, they are referred to as “heirs with whereabouts unknown.”
The executor is required to make a diligent search for the heir. There are a variety of resources that a skilled Long Island heir finder lawyer can use to try to find a missing heir. A diligent search would involve the executor looking through the decedent property for contact information, contacting the decedent’s relatives and friends, contacting the U.S. Postal Service, online searches, and searching motor vehicle records.Consequences of a missing heir
If after a diligent search an heir cannot be located, the heir’s share of the estate will be turned over to New York’s Office of Unclaimed Funds as abandoned property. The missing heir can later surface and claim the property. If it turns out that the missing heir has passed away, then theAvoiding a missing heir problem
As an heir finder attorney in Long Island will explain, the best way to ensure that your estate avoids a missing heir problem is to make sure that you make a will and that you updated it regularly. If you have a will, you can name the individuals who are to receive your property. This means that your estate will avoid the potential problem of located a long lost relative who turns out to be your next-of-kin and entitled to inherit your estate.
If you do write a will, it is important to revisit it and update it. Over time you may lose touch with beneficiaries or change your mind as to how you would like to dispose of your estate. By revisiting your will regularly, you are less likely to have a beneficiary whose whereabouts are a mystery. If it does come to your attention that a beneficiary has moved, let you executor know.Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates
A hard-to-find heir can make it difficult for the executor to expeditiously wind up and estate and distribute assets. In addition, search for a missing heir will result in an added expense to the estate. Whether you want to make sure that your estate avoids a missing heir problem, or you are currently facing a missing heir problem, it is important to contact an heir finder attorney serving Long Island who has experienced. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have years of experience representing clients who have complicated estate and probate issues, including hard to find heirs and beneficiaries, as well as issues related to proving kinship. We are here to help. Contact us at 800-696-9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County, Westchester County, Bronx, and Brooklyn.