Recent Trusts & Estates Articles and Resources

Professional Trustee?

By: Marguerite C. Lorenz, CTFA, CLPF, Lorenz Fiduciary Services, Inc. Current Chairman of the Fiduciary Bureau Advisory Committee, Co-Author of “Ethics for Trustees” (  Click here to read full story...

Elder Law: Driven by money, Heir Hunters Spring into action

Wesley E. Wright and Molly Dear Abshire are attorneys with the firm Wright Abshire, Attorneys. Both Wright and Abshire are certified as Elder Law Attorneys by the National Elder Law Foundation. Click here to read full story...

Can Your Client Get Out of a Contingent Fee Heir Finder Contract?

Author Robert E. Kass, JD, LLM, is a Detroit-based estate planning and administration attorney, Fellow of the American College of Trust & Estate Counsel. Asked to sign a contingent fee heir contract to be taken to the pot of gold, some clients will sign without competent legal advice. If your client does that, is it too late to cancel the contract or negotiate a more reasonable fee?  Click here to read full story...

Know All the Facts Before Retaining Help with Your Heir Search

Read Robert G. Alexander, JD, LLM, president of the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils (NAEPC) and on the board of directors of the Estate Planning Law Specialist Board article on recent Pennsylvania legal ethics opinion illustrates why you need to monitor state laws about heir finders and genealogical search firms.  Click here to read full story...

The Heir-Tracing Industry Explained ~ For Probate Attorneys, Trust Officers and Heirs

C. Tim Rodenbush, President of explores the fee methodologies charged by heir search firms and which choice is the most fair to the heirs.  Though it is not commonly known, a worldwide heir search industry exists consisting of individual heir tracers and genealogical search firms to meet the requirements of Probate Attorneys and Trust Officers in their need to find missing heirs and beneficiaries. Professional search firms are many and varied but can be categorized into two main types by how they structure their fees.  Click here to read full story...

What Do I Need To Know, If Contacted By an Heir Hunter… Who asks me to sign a contract?

Above all else, seek legal advice BEFORE signing a contract with the heir hunter. If the heir hunter offers to refer you to an attorney, ask yourself if the attorney being referred will be serving your best interests or those of the heir hunter? Depending upon the amount of the inheritance, INDEPENDENT legal advice could save you a great deal of money, potentially tens of thousands of dollars. Click here to read full story...

Put Yourself In The Missing Heir's Shoes!

Have you ever wondered what would happen if your name turned up on a “missing heir” list in some trust officer’s or attorney’s office? Would they be able to find you? How would they do that? Would it cost you money to become a beneficiary? Maybe they would never find you. What then?  Click here to read full story...

The Voidability of Heir Hunter Contracts

1 The fees, charges, or consideration paid or agreed to be paid by a beneficiary are grossly unreasonable;
2. The transfer, agreement, request, or instructions were obtained by duress, fraud, or undue influence.”
Click here to read full story...

Key Findings from the 6th Annual Industry Trends Survey
Results are in from the 6th Annual Industry Trends Survey which took place from September 5, 2012 to October 19, 2012. The survey drew participation from nearly 1,500 industry professionals comprised of estate and business planning attorneys, certified public accountants, certified financial advisors and planners, registered representatives, insurance advisors, and other wealth management professionals. Powered by @WealthCounsel

Senate Bill 236
Limiting the Amount Percentage-Based heirsearch firms may charge an heir directly

Oregon State Bar legislation
This Oregon State Bar legislation designed to limit percentage-based heir search firms from collecting finders fees from heirs within one year of the decedent's date of death and to set limits on the percentage such firms can collect.

National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA)
Start Your Free Search for Money That Might Be Due You.  Go directly to a government unclaimed property program by clicking on a state, territory, or province from the map or drop box below. You should search in every state where you have lived.

Missing is officially endorsed by NAUPA and the participating states and provinces. Our site will assist you in thoroughly searching all participating states to find your family's missing, lost, and unclaimed property, money and assets.

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC)
Finding an Unclaimed Pension. You, or someone you know, may be owed a pension. Below are options for searching PBGC's list of pensions that have been earned, but are unclaimed.

FHA Refund Alerts! - U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
You should be careful about any literature or solicitations stating that a change in HUD's, FHA's or the government's policy will prevent you from receiving your refund and that you should call their office immediately.
The Office of Housing provides vital public services through its nationally administered programs. It oversees the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the largest mortgage insurer in the world, as well as regulates housing industry business.

Read HeirMail® Email Newsletter Editions 2013 here...

Read Recent Heir, Beneficiary Trust & Estates, Wealth Management Industry News here...

Heir Search Video

Heir Search video from Alexander Haig and World Business Review. 

 Watch video online here.

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