Some Michigan residents may not think creating an estate plan is necessary. If they have no close family or do not feel the desire to bequeath any of their assets to their family, they may skip the estate planning process altogether. However, even if a person does not create a plan, their estate must still be administered and beneficiaries determined.
One man in another state has taken on the task of searching for heirs to sizable estates. He typically steps in when an estate he believes is worth the effort -- usually ones worth at least $100,000 -- has no will and no relatives attached to it. He uses birth, marriage and death records to determine the closest relatives who could stand to inherit part or all of the estate.
After finding a prospective heir, he contacts the individual to inform him or her of the situation. He stated that some parties suspect he is a con man while others believe that they do not need his help when it comes to proving that they should inherit the estate. However, he has been able to help parties prove their kinship and walk away with an inheritance.
Though services such as the one this man provides can help address an unclaimed estate, Michigan residents may wish to take proactive steps to ensure that their assets go to their desired parties. Even if individuals do not have close relatives or do not wish to give relatives property, they can still utilize estate planning to give money or other assets to charities, schools or whomever they please. Therefore, interested parties may wish to speak with knowledgeable attorneys in order to get started on their plans.
Source: New York Daily News, "Long Island man treasures job as heir hunter", James Fanelli, May 15, 2017