Ideally, when a person dies, their property is passed on to their heir. But, what if the heir cannot be located? How about a situation where the deceased has more than one heir, but one of the heirs is not available? Will the heir lose their inheritance? Will the assets hang in limbo till they are found? These are questions clients who consult Arturo R. Alfonso, P.A. in Miami have found answers to, and we’ve provided answers to those questions here too. Do you also need “estate lawyers near me”? We are a phone call away! 

The Steps To Take When An Heir Cannot Be Located

The first step to take when an heir is missing is to search for them. The executor of the assets must make a conscious effort to search for the heir. If the heir cannot be found after a series of searches, the heir runs the risk of losing their inheritance. But that isn’t all! When it’s clear that the personal representative has thoroughly searched but couldn’t find the heir, the court steps in. 

Before the court’s involvement, the personal representative would need to sell the assets and hand over the money from the sale of the property to the court’s clerk. The court will then disburse the fund among the heirs available. If the court couldn’t still locate the missing heir, the state can then use the money for what it sees fit. 

How Courts Locate Missing Heirs

There are two ways courts locate a missing heir. Each of these ways is dependent on the worth of the assets in dollars. First, if the price of the assets in dollars is less than $500, the court pastes a notice on the courthouse, hoping that the heir will find it and, after that, claim it. The notice generally will include the contact information of the personal representative and the monetary value involved. However, if the value is above $500, the court will continuously make an effort to reach the heir. This entails posting a notice in the newspaper once a month for two months. From the initial announcement in the newspaper, the missing heir has only six months to respond. But if they still haven’t responded, they forfeit the inheritance.

The Role Of A Personal Representative

To ensure that a personal representative search was earnest, they will first locate the eldest before taking the case to court if the deceased has many children. There are many alternatives at their disposal, though. They could: 

  • Publish the information in a newspaper
  • Use the best information available to reach out to them on the internet, social media, or even ads online.

Apart from these simple ways, they could request the service of one of the skilled “estate lawyers near me.” This experienced probate lawyer will meet with the Social Security Administration to confirm the missing heir’s last address. 

Contact Us

Are you a personal representative? Would you love to have a skilled probate lawyer help when an heir cannot be located? As one of the respected “estate lawyers near me,” Arturo R. Alfonso, P.A. in Miami will use the best available resources and information in finding a missing heir. Contact us for consultations!