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I Want Time to Do My Work

I don’t want to put heir finders out of business (unless they are involved in criminal activity). I want time to do my work finding heirs before they jump in front of me and take 30-50% of the inheritance. If I am unable to find the heirs I appreciate the involvement but the percentage should be capped at 10%.

John J. Cahill
Las Vegas, NV
Nov 01, 2016

For background, John Cahill has for many years been the Public Administrator for Clark County, NV. His office has concluded numerous decedents’ estates where the heirs were previously unknown or otherwise missing; heir hunters having involved themselves in many of those estates. John’s experience gives him admirable insight into what our organization is working to accomplish.

As we’ve seen, some of the heir finders’ (or heir hunters’) activities aren’t actually criminal under the current laws, but it is clear that they are deliberately perpetrated so as to result in an unfair profit at the expense of the rightful heirs. Heir finders also frequently interfere with the work of those responsible for the distribution of inheritance monies.

With respect to heir finders’ percentage-based fees, in certain cases a 10% fee to the heir finder may be appropriate. However, heir finders’ fees capped at 10% in all cases requires further consideration. In cases where there are relatively nominal assets, a 10% cap virtually ensures that the potential fee would not be worth the heir finders’ efforts. This is especially true in those cases where there is a substantial amount of work to be done in order to identify, locate and document all the heirs.

In those cases, all the assets would escheat, when perhaps the heir finders may have been able to locate the heirs for a fee in the range of 30% (a 50% fee is practically unheard of). Were that to be the case then the heirs would still receive monies that would otherwise have escheated. It should be noted that once monies have escheated, most states already cap the finders’ fee at 10%, which certainly limits the potential for the state to ever have to give up those funds to a found heir.

The HeirLaw proposition is a reasonable solution to the actual problem that Mr. Cahill has presented here: “I want time to do my work finding heirs…”.

Cliff Von Langen
Jupiter, FL

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