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General => The Common Room => The Lighter Side => Topic started by: hazelnuts01 on Tuesday 22 January 08 13:03 GMT (UK)

Title: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: hazelnuts01 on Tuesday 22 January 08 13:03 GMT (UK)
Have you seen the programme "Heir Hunters"?    Fantastic piece of detective work - but how do they do it?
In one programme you see an" Heir Hunter" rushing round and piecing together quite recent information.  (ie within the past 100 yrs)  which would take me months if I knew where to look. Where have I been going wrong?    Are documents available between 1900 and 2000 to anybody?
If anyone else has seen this programme - would they please enlighten me?
puzzled
Hazelnuts01
Title: Re: "HEIR HUNTERS"
Post by: Windsor87 on Tuesday 22 January 08 14:17 GMT (UK)
I tgink they are entitled to more information from the government. Even though it is in the government's best interest thatthey fail.

Also, they do alot of research based on searches at the registrar office and by searching obituaries which anyone can do.

The difference between us and them is that they need to do it at a fairly fast pace. It pays them to do so, whereas it costs us.
Title: Re: "HEIR HUNTERS"
Post by: hazelnuts01 on Tuesday 22 January 08 17:24 GMT (UK)
Thanks - that was interesting.   Have joined a family search group for beginners today and have had my eyes  opened regarding all the diferent sources available - up to now I have only been able to search on computer with scotlandspeople and the local library (and rootschat of course). 
Thanks again
Hazelnuts01
Title: Re: "HEIR HUNTERS"
Post by: Mean_genie on Tuesday 22 January 08 17:48 GMT (UK)
Firms like the ones in Heir Hunters don't have any privileged access, they just have the resources to devote a lot of staff time and money to getting the information in a hurry. When they succeed in tracking down and signing up the heirs, they can make a great deal of money, so the initial outlay is worth it. The big firms employ very experienced researchers who really know their way round the records.

Mean_genie
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: kooky on Tuesday 22 January 08 18:05 GMT (UK)
Is there going to be another series?
Kooky
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: familyman1 on Wednesday 12 March 08 22:26 GMT (UK)
this is an interesting programme,but when i wrote to them i got no reply,B****S
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: FraserandFraser on Monday 14 April 08 12:38 BST (UK)
You are correct we don't have access to any records that are not also available to the public.
We do however have several large computerised databases of these public records that are exclusive to us.
As a probate company also are resisted with the GRO and thus don't have the restrictions about modern certs.
We purchase a lot of certs (over £100k's worth per year) and have a fare number of staff, who's only job is to research some have been doing this for over 30 years.
The series is being rerun on UKTV people are the moment (Apr 2008). We have also had the BBC in the office since Oct 2007 filming a new set of 20 programs. to be shown? but probably over the summer/ autumn of 2008.

In the course of the first running of the program Jun 2007 we received 5000 emails over 1000 phone calls and lots of letters these were all meant to be handled by the BBC but instead got redirected to us. We didn't get paid for the series, and as you can understand dealing with these cost us a lot of money. I thought all the emails were answered (even the ones that said they must be entitles because they had the same surname of a widow) if some got missed I can only say sorry and ask you to resend the mail.

Neil Fraser
Partner of Fraser & Fraser
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: trish251 on Monday 14 April 08 13:01 BST (UK)
Thank you for the response. I was recently searching for the beneficiaries of a distant relative - it took quite some time, as initially I couldn't find/access the death certificate & when I started I didn't know exactly when she died. I got there eventually - finding the company that handled the probate resolved the issue very quickly, I should have sent you an email  :)  -  next time!

Trish

Edit: I haven't seen the show, I don't think it is on in Australia - another minor research problem, living thousands of miles distant.
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: toni* on Monday 14 April 08 13:02 BST (UK)
I did watch the first series and thought it was very good / interesting , roll on the next one!
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: jinks on Tuesday 15 April 08 12:31 BST (UK)
Interesting! I missed it.

Which station was it on?
I am going to look out for repeats.


Jinks
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: FraserandFraser on Tuesday 15 April 08 12:40 BST (UK)
It was on the BBC
but is now being repeated on UKTV People a few times every day
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Necromancer on Tuesday 15 April 08 12:40 BST (UK)
they struggled to make it last for an 'hour slot' - even flip-flopping between 2 cases in the one I saw the other day.

After each & every commercial break, it went back over what had just been presented - I found it quite irksome and detracted from the content and presentation. They did this between breaks too, when switching between the cases being researched.

Altho it didnt spell it out particularly well, its essentially pulling the latest 'intestate' situation from a Govt website and researching it to produce a tree and next of kin list. Some of the probate sums sound large to people being told you are going to inherit a share of 300K - but often the bulk of the estate is a property ....

This is done as quickly as possible as there is competition to earn the reward (which wasnt quantified) .... one bloke they found had 3 different firms knocking on his door for a signature on their paperwork !

Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Necromancer on Tuesday 15 April 08 12:42 BST (UK)
The Fraser & Fraser firm made me smile - gesticulating at times to the Production Team - 'DONT FILM THIS BIT'  ;D
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: FraserandFraser on Tuesday 15 April 08 12:54 BST (UK)
Yes one bad case, we messed up so many times I don't think we really deserved the contract. This case ended up going bad any way there was no money to distribute.

Most the others make us look a bit better. We all have bad days!!

The next series promises to be a bit better filmed and made, no Nadia and they only follow Fraser's but the level of competition is greater.
I hope they treat the viewer with a bit more inelegance and don't repeat every thing 50 times.

Should be on BBC daytime in the late Summer, but they said that last time and it took 18 months to be screened after filming finished.
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Necromancer on Tuesday 15 April 08 12:59 BST (UK)
Ta - look forward to it !   :)

The website that was shown in the program - is that the Bona Vacatinia Governemnt site ?

http://www.bonavacantia.gov.uk/forms/estate_search.asp

cant see any estate values - priviledged I guess ?
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: FraserandFraser on Tuesday 15 April 08 13:00 BST (UK)
No longer show values on cases an attempt to stop fraud. I don't get the values either.
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: toni* on Tuesday 15 April 08 13:09 BST (UK)
i sort of skimmed over the bits which were infilled, i was doing my housework at the time!
 but the actual search and oucome was very good i thoguht
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Rewcastle on Tuesday 15 April 08 13:16 BST (UK)
Has the show amended the contract for the new series, so that researchers won't be using the disabled toilets to make phone calls?  ::)




Rewcastle.



Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: FraserandFraser on Tuesday 15 April 08 13:19 BST (UK)
The company that used the disabled toilets (Celtic Research) is not being filmed. Also the FRC where they were filmed as I am sure you all know has closed.

Fraser's researchers are based in the office so we never have a problem with making phone calls.

Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: kooky on Tuesday 15 April 08 13:26 BST (UK)
I presume that 'inelegance' is a mistranscription of intelligence? ::)
Kooky
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: FraserandFraser on Tuesday 15 April 08 13:31 BST (UK)
Yes I said "inelegance" referring to the viewer not my self, "intelligence" would have been a better spelling to use.

Sorry but I am very Dyslexic and struggle when spell checks don't pick up my blatant errors.
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Rewcastle on Tuesday 15 April 08 13:36 BST (UK)
"The company that used the disabled toilets (Celtic Research) is not being filmed."

Well that's good news.  :)




Rewcastle.


Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: kizmiaz on Tuesday 15 April 08 13:40 BST (UK)
Hi Neil

Good to see that even the experts have found this site!

£100k spent on certificates per year is a pretty staggering sum, but what percentage of these would you say are incorrect, or irrelevant? (Just as a rough gauge for someone who would think twice about spending £100 per year!  ;D)

Glen
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: FraserandFraser on Tuesday 15 April 08 13:44 BST (UK)
We probably spend about 1/2 the money just on priorities (24 hour certs) of these on some cases 75% may be wrong
Of the £7 ones probably 75% are correct. so may be 30 to 40% off all certs we order endup in the NBG section (No B...... Good).
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Rewcastle on Tuesday 15 April 08 13:44 BST (UK)
"cant see any estate values"

This may be due to the scams/cons from people claiming to be 'heir hunters' that happened after the first series was shown.




Rewcastle.




Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: kizmiaz on Tuesday 15 April 08 13:49 BST (UK)
We probably spend about 1/2 the money just on priorities (24 hour certs) of these on some cases 75% may be wrong
Of the £7 ones probably 75% are correct. so may be 30 to 40% off all certs we order endup in the NBG section (No B...... Good).


Thanks Neil, good to know the odds.

I think I'll have to start an NBG section for mine!
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: madpants on Tuesday 15 April 08 13:51 BST (UK)
Welcome to Rootschat Neil  ;D

I loved heir hunters first time round, I'm glad there's to be another series.

Have you thought of putting the unwanted certs on the board for it here  ;D ;)

By the way, once you find your way here you're hooked forever  ;D ;D ;D

(need anyone else in the North East??  ;))
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: toni* on Tuesday 15 April 08 13:54 BST (UK)
can we see you NBG pile? may be of use to us  ;) ;D ;D
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: clematised on Tuesday 15 April 08 14:03 BST (UK)
Dont forget http://bmdshare.com for those unwanted certs that you all have and you may find some of your wanted ones amont the 5000 plus that have already been posted there and you can join for free just like here Maria Dolman is doing a great job with that site.

Edna
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: old rowley on Tuesday 15 April 08 14:33 BST (UK)
welcome to rootschat Neil, I must say that I found the programme fascinating and gave us an insight of how fast paced it can be in looking for someone when in a short time frame before others get to them (so to speak). Luckily we do not have that problem, but I must ask just what do you do with the unwanted certificates (NBG one's) after you have purchased them, do you shred them due to the details on them or what? (me being nosey).

old rowley
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: FraserandFraser on Tuesday 15 April 08 14:48 BST (UK)
our NBG certs all stay with the case they were ordered on so we can look back at a later date to see just why they are wrong. We even keep all the applications for certs with checking points that come back no good.

Sorry we have just too many to do anything with, after a case has been closed we microfilm then shred the file including all the certs, it is part of the requirements with our ISO security certificate. We did originally keep every cert in a index but the time to index and file them just was not worth it.

We would also have to be careful with the 50 year rule if we were to pass certs on.
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: old rowley on Tuesday 15 April 08 16:02 BST (UK)
Many thanks for the reply Neil, like I said it was me being nosey, like many of the genealogy programmes that one see's there always seem's to be at least one, if not two questions that the viewer comes up with whilst watching but usually never gets an answer too.

old rowley
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: little meg on Wednesday 16 April 08 23:58 BST (UK)
Awww, I want it shown in Australia too.
Sounds like an interesting program, nice to see they found their way into Rootschat - and if you need expert advice - just ask a Rootschatter. ;D

Margaret
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: FraserandFraser on Friday 20 June 08 12:43 BST (UK)
just been given the date for the next series

starts:

Monday 30th June @ 9.15 BBC1

runs for 4 weeks, 20 shows.


Neil
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: toni* on Friday 20 June 08 18:52 BST (UK)
great - i am at work but no doubt can watch it on t'internet at a later time  ;D
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: madpants on Sunday 22 June 08 18:26 BST (UK)
Excellent.... that'll be me not starting work til 10 then  ;D ;D
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: pjbuk007 on Sunday 22 June 08 18:48 BST (UK)
Thanks

I missed the first series, but will try and watch.  Similar detective work to ours!

We have used a similar organisation the other way around; as executors of a small estate where we cannot find one of the beneficiaries.  I thought I would try, but of course I could not access all the info.  In fact we still have not found the person, who has probably gone abroad.  I was interested in the methods used!  So I look forward to watching yours in action.
Title: Heir Hunters
Post by: Mumsie2131 on Tuesday 01 July 08 10:47 BST (UK)


This programme has started a new series on BBC1 at 09:15
Title: Re: Heir Hunters
Post by: kooky on Tuesday 01 July 08 11:08 BST (UK)
Watched yesterday and today.
Very interesting!

I did notice that there were no female investigators 'in the field.'
Also no high profile ladies in the office.

Is there a reason for this?

Kooky
Title: Re: Heir Hunters
Post by: nanny jan on Tuesday 01 July 08 11:15 BST (UK)
www.bbc.co.uk/heirhunters  has a small list of people who did not leave a will and with no known relatives.

Might be worth checking to see if any belong in your tree.


Nanny Jan
Title: Re: Heir Hunters
Post by: Sylviaann on Tuesday 01 July 08 12:16 BST (UK)
Wish I could spend a couple of days in their office just looking at all the records they have  ;D

It was interesting yesterday with Lord and Lady something doing research on old cases from their home.  Be a bit of a shock to get a letter from him.  I bet some of us could do that job if we had the time.

Sylviaann
Title: Re: Heir Hunters
Post by: willow154 on Tuesday 01 July 08 13:02 BST (UK)
Thanks for letting us know it's on - I never find out unless someone tells me :-[  Should look, really!
Will catch up on bbciplayer.
Paulene :)
Sylviaann,
I'm sure you're right - I expect they need qualifications though. There are some great detectives here on rootschat.
Lovely avator, by the way :)
Title: Re: Heir Hunters
Post by: mshrmh on Tuesday 01 July 08 14:30 BST (UK)
Neil Fraser gave the full runs for the series on the previous thread
http://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php/topic,280581.30.html
Basically Mon-Fri for four weeks.

Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: mshrmh on Tuesday 01 July 08 14:33 BST (UK)
I've recorded the first couple of programmes & watched number one. I was rather annoyed at the "spoiler" given at the start in the coming up bit... it did rather give the game away. I also thought that the voice over was a bit at odds with the film at times in what had or had not been "discovered" at that stage - a problem with the editing, maybe?
I'll be interested in any explanation as to how the cases are chosen now that the value of the estate is no longer put on the web/press advert.
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: madpants on Tuesday 01 July 08 17:05 BST (UK)
I saw the first one on monday......that poor guy who had to drive up and down the country several times and THEN got a speeding ticket..... ::) ;D

Maybe it would help if there was someone already oop north  ;)

iplayer is a wonderful invention,  just downloading this morning's for later.

Although it has nothing to do with Fraser & Fraser......where's Nadia gone??  The repetetiveness of the first series has diminished but the voice over script is dire!  ::)
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: davidft on Tuesday 01 July 08 18:59 BST (UK)
The programmes are available for seven days after transmission on the BBC i player

The thing that struck me about the first two programs was the difference in the production values. Mondays programme was coherent and concise with a good narration and little repetition. However, Tuesdays was a complete mismash, more repetition and bad narration. Perhaps the latter was given to the production company's work experience student  ::)
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: northern_rose on Tuesday 01 July 08 20:07 BST (UK)
The last series was fantastic (ok not brilliantly filmed but better than the house programmes!)

I just happened to be off work on Monday and enjoyed the first programme and meant to set the recorder. I am now downloading iplayer.

Such a shame it's not gettting a more prime time slot!

Moderator comment - topics merged
Title: Heir Hunters
Post by: Mogsmum on Wednesday 02 July 08 09:43 BST (UK)
I've just discovered a programme on BBC 1 at 9.30 a.m., entitled Heir Hunters

I don't know if anyone else has watched this, but for some reason I find it slightly distasteful.   I know these people have a living to make, but there's something in the way they go about it which I feel is just, well - unpleasant.
Title: Re: Heir Hunters
Post by: Jayson on Wednesday 02 July 08 11:04 BST (UK)
I thought the same thing and turned it off. 

There's an important lesson here for everyone and that is to make a will.  I'd rather burn what money I have than see it go to a distant, greasy handed relation who's only real concern was what they were going to spend it on.

Jayson
Title: Re: Heir Hunters
Post by: Necromancer on Wednesday 02 July 08 11:46 BST (UK)
I'd rather it went to a relation or a deserving charity than the Government - which is what happens if these Probate researchers dont find a beneficiary ....

Distasteful seems a strong word for what they are effectively doing - keeping the money out of the Governments hands    ::)
Title: Re: Heir Hunters
Post by: Sylviaann on Wednesday 02 July 08 11:56 BST (UK)
see also http://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php/topic,312975.0.html
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Willow 4873 on Wednesday 02 July 08 12:16 BST (UK)
Blast just noticed this post!

It will have to be the iplayer for me because I'm at work

Willow x
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: toni* on Wednesday 02 July 08 12:47 BST (UK)
they [ our computer technicans at work ] were messing around with the PC a few months back, installing new ones upgrading the server, cleaning (all my bookmarks  ::) ) off etc etc and now i dont have sound on my work PC  ::)
i went to put it ont his morning as no-one is in the office - H & S training day and couldnt hear anything  ::)
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Abiam2 on Wednesday 02 July 08 12:54 BST (UK)
I love the programme but fed up seeing the same filing drawers being closed 3 maybe 4 times in every episode is annoying.

And how do they choose a subject if they don't know the value?  I fully understand that with Fraser and Fraser's overheads they can't afford to follow Great Aunt Maud's 500 pounds.

I enjoyed the Lord and Lady bit giving hope that maybe they may come across MY poor lost relatives.

Something else - what a greedy grasping government (all) we have that would give a wartime hero a paupers grave when he had over a million in the bank! >:(
Did they find relatives I missed the end?
Abiam
Title: Re: Heir Hunters
Post by: halfasheep on Wednesday 02 July 08 12:54 BST (UK)
Here's a potentially stupid question - the heir hunters (whichever company, doesn't matter) find that I'm entitled to £XXXXXX and tell me all about it.

What's to stop me telling them to get stuffed and claiming the full amount myself, thus denying them their percentage?

I appreciate that the average person on the street nay not know exactly what they should be looking for (or where), but with the internet, surely it wouldn't take much for these people to get the inheritence themselves?

I appreciate that you may have to provide proof of lineage, but it can;t be that difficult can it?
Title: Re: Heir Hunters
Post by: Necromancer on Wednesday 02 July 08 13:02 BST (UK)
I suspect that does happens - if its a straightforward case. The 2nd episode, where they went to Southampton (I think it was), the chap didnt sign the papers .....
Title: Re: Heir Hunters
Post by: halfasheep on Wednesday 02 July 08 13:04 BST (UK)
I won't hold much hope of getting a call - I don't think Irish migrant coal miners tended to have large estates  :D
Title: Re: Heir Hunters
Post by: hiraeth on Wednesday 02 July 08 13:10 BST (UK)
Some interesting stories here

http://www.fraserandfraser.com/cases.html
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Aulus on Wednesday 02 July 08 13:12 BST (UK)
I record it and it's interesting to watch, as it shows a different (mercenary!) approach to the sort of thing most of the people here are doing for their own interest.

It does surprise me a little that there is sufficient money in it to run a company like Fraser & Fraser and all its employees, let alone them and all their competitors.  Presumably these companies work on being able to get a percentage of the estate from the beneficiaries who "sign up" with them (hence why they won't normally say who's died until the beneficiary has signed on the proverbial dotted line).  I suppose it must just be the sheer quantity of intestate deaths and the occasional real biggie that makes it viable.  Though I expect they also do other work chasing missing people who are beneficiaries in wills, where your average local solicitor/executor isn't going to have the ability (not meant to be a dismissive turn of phrase) to do much more than place a few adverts in the press.

I'm also surprised that we don't see the office-based researchers looking at internet genealogy sites (ancestry, findmypast etc) to see if anyone's already researching the family - but maybe that would count as advertising and Auntie Beeb won't show that.

Was it yesterday's programme that showed them sending their researchers racing round London registry offices?  I thought that was just bizarre.  You get someone to drive into central London to go to a registry office (inevitably sitting in traffic for ages), when the firm's office is based in central London?  Errrmm ... buy an office bicycle or moped and send the tea boy!  ;D

Of course, we don't know how much "drama" is "created" in the editing!
Title: Re: Heir Hunters
Post by: silvery on Wednesday 02 July 08 13:20 BST (UK)
Here's a potentially stupid question - the heir hunters (whichever company, doesn't matter) find that I'm entitled to £XXXXXX and tell me all about it.

What's to stop me telling them to get stuffed and claiming the full amount myself, thus denying them their percentage?


If they hadn't spent money and time doing the research in the first place, then you would never have known about your inheritance. 

I would be happy to give them their percentage.
Title: Re: Heir Hunters
Post by: toni* on Wednesday 02 July 08 13:21 BST (UK)
http://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php/topic,312975.0/topicseen.html
Title: Re: Heir Hunters
Post by: halfasheep on Wednesday 02 July 08 13:23 BST (UK)
Don't get me wrong silvery, I appreciate how much work goes into this having seen all the last series, and I'd be more than happy to negotiate over the percentage they get  ;)

But there must be people out there who would rather get that extra x% of their inheritence than use companies like this?
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: toni* on Wednesday 02 July 08 13:23 BST (UK)
http://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php/topic,313030.0/topicseen.html
Title: Re: Heir Hunters
Post by: silvery on Wednesday 02 July 08 13:27 BST (UK)
Probably, but they wouldn't know about it in the first place to get that extra percentage. 

Title: Re: Heir Hunters
Post by: Necromancer on Wednesday 02 July 08 13:39 BST (UK)
erm - they would - when F&F approached them !.

The episode I watched showed that they sometimes say who has died .....  and the programme spelled out that one of the beneficaries hadnt signed up ....
Title: Re: Heir Hunters
Post by: aghadowey on Wednesday 02 July 08 13:48 BST (UK)
Suspect that a lots of the paperwork invloved in this sort of business is not shown on the programme (just saw it this morning by chance).

A few years ago I was approached by someone who asked if I could help find their grandmother's birth certificate/baptismal record. They had been unable to find anything after trying to order a birth certificate. Grandmother was one of three children born to a couple. Youngest child had a birth certificate but nothing for the 1st two children. All the local churches were tried (even other denominations) without luck. Grandmother's marriage certificate listed her father but also culdn't find a marriage certificate for them.
The reason for the research was that the family had been notified that a relative had died in Scotland without a Will and if they could prove the relationship they'd have a claim on the estate (forget the figure I was told but it was a lot of money for each of them even when divided among the family). The family had to supply birth, death and marriage certificates to prove their relationship (does that ever happen in Heir Hunters?). In the end only descendants of the youngest child could inherit the estate since the other 2 children couldn't be proven to be legitimate (Scottish law is different than rest of U.K.).
Title: Re: Heir Hunters
Post by: silvery on Wednesday 02 July 08 14:22 BST (UK)
erm - they would - when F&F approached them !.


By this time F & F have done the 'donkey work' and underwritten the costs involved, not just getting the certs but also the hours and hours of work involved, and their database organisation etc. 

If the hadn't taken this chance and spent the money, then no-one involved would ever know that they had an inheritance to claim.  It would go to the state.

Me - I'd be just grateful to be contacted by them!  (fat chance though)
Title: Re: Heir Hunters
Post by: kooky on Wednesday 02 July 08 14:25 BST (UK)
This morning was quite heart warming. One lady not only was in line for some money, but discovered a family of which she was not aware!
Kooky
Title: Re: Heir Hunters
Post by: Aulus on Wednesday 02 July 08 15:40 BST (UK)
Reflecting on it, I suppose this is one of the only ways we're going to see any sort of genealogy on TV.

The other being the Who do you think you are celebrity approach.

TV has to have some element of drama or celebrity in it these days.

I don't think many will be interested in my great-great grandfather who died in Withington Workhouse, or his widow, who, along with her second husband, died of alcoholism.

On the other hand, WDYTYA should do Jane Asher (the actress and cake woman), as she's my 9th cousin once removed and I could sell the BBC my research at a special rate  ;D, and she has a  very interesting g-g grandmother (not my g-g grandmother >:( )
Title: Re: Heir Hunters
Post by: FraserandFraser on Wednesday 02 July 08 16:18 BST (UK)
am putting replies  on the other forum

http://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php/topic,312975.0/topicseen.html

Neil Fraser
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: FraserandFraser on Wednesday 02 July 08 16:43 BST (UK)
We do have female staff, Frances is a case manager and has worked for us for more than 10 years. The only people more senior than her are the Partners (all Fraser's) and the 3 senior case managers who have all worked here for 25+ years. There are not many companies who have had female staff who have worked for the same company that long. We employ ex-police, or our internal research staff to be on the road and have just not had a female rise through the ranks or come from the police.

It is true that anyone can cut us out after we have done all the hard work but there is a lot that is going on off camera and after we find the heir, it is the service that people pay a % for.

Sorry it appears mercenary but it is a very competitive and we are working very fast in these cases. We have policies in place to make sure that the heir is treated with dignity but it often seems unfair when several people all find the same heir and fight over the inheritance, and a tragic family event of some one dying. If we get early wind of cases and can work at our own pace it is always preferable.

There is very little extra drama added, we really do work like this.

When we were "racing round London" we had sent Ewart to Westminster RO, he used to work there, then we sent Bob from the office by Taxi as it should have taken him 5 mins, to Camden RO. We cant sent the "tea boy" as we don't have one and he would hardly be the best person to break the news of someone's death to a family member, not sure if a man arriving in a suit dripping with sweat and dirt having ridden through London or a man in motor bike leathers would also be the best for the job.


 
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Necromancer on Wednesday 02 July 08 16:52 BST (UK)
Personally didnt understand the 'mercenary' comment ...... you're running a business and offering a service, seems fine to me. Hardly 'ambulance chasing' stuff is it   :)

What sort of % of 'heirs' say no thanks to the service - wondered how you tried to manage the risk factor ?

One thing I noticed a couple of times was the commentary emphasing how the DoB obtained from a Death Cert was so invaluable - I wondered if these people are dying intestate and seemingly far removed from family, how an accurate DoB was thus provided by an Informant !


Nihi lacesse illegitimo carborundum    :P


Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: FraserandFraser on Wednesday 02 July 08 16:57 BST (UK)
Some times the DoB is not correct but most the time it is. I am often susprised that the dec had a dob on there death but to resister the death you are meant to provide it. A lot of the times it is the social who provide the information, or there is paper work in the dec property with their dob.
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Aulus on Wednesday 02 July 08 17:02 BST (UK)
I used the term "mercenary", so should explain that what I meant is that probate research firms such as those featured in the BBC programme are doing it for money.  Simple as that.  No reason why they shouldn't.

I do my genealogical research for my own interest and pleasure, with no financial reward.  They do it  to pay their and their employees' wages.

This is one of those occasional problems you come across when you've done Latin at university - using words in their original meanings can sometimes cause confusion (or even, as in this case, offence), when I ignore more common, vernacular meanings.  I did not intend any derogatory sense in my use of the word mercenary and wholeheartedly apologise to Fraser & Fraser and other such companies if anyone has taken it in a derogatory sense.

Off the top of my head, and without going and looking it up, mercenary comes from mercenarius, which itself is derived from merces, which means reward or wages.
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Mr. MIGKY on Wednesday 02 July 08 17:06 BST (UK)
You can watch all this weeks programs from this place , but only people in the UK that is.
There is plenty of programs from the USA i think on " Youtube "
Migky ;)


http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/page/item/b00cfyb4.shtml

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=raWeKLXU3pI
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: FraserandFraser on Wednesday 02 July 08 17:19 BST (UK)
Aulus, No offence taken just stopping the snowball effect of people who haven't seen the program complaining as can sometimes happen.

Latin at university, I don't think I am worthy, that really does sound like a proper degree, compared to mine in geography.



iplayer is great but you are correct it is only for use in the UK I cant help it you live overseas and cant get BBC1 we did have the first series on out web site but the BBC asked us to take it down for the moment hope to put it back soon. I don't think we are allowed to put it on youtube.

Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Aulus on Wednesday 02 July 08 17:30 BST (UK)
Thanks Fraser&Fraser.  All degrees are proper degrees (unless they come from one of those spam emails ...)

By the way, I only meant send the sweaty tea boy  ;D  to get the certificate from the registry office, not go and break the news to the family.  It seemed that you were stuck till you'd got it/them and  I sort of got the impression from the TV programme that the researchers were coming from outside London.  (No need to reply to explain further, by the way.)

Interesting that the pressures you work under aren't exaggerated by the editing.  You must be a TV company's dream!  ;)
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Mr. MIGKY on Wednesday 02 July 08 17:48 BST (UK)
This is as near as i got to a degree   :-[ i


Images removed as it may infringe copy rights
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Aulus on Wednesday 02 July 08 17:50 BST (UK)
This is as near as i got to a degree   :-[ i

(http://img116.imageshack.us/img116/2719/allprops0.jpg)
;D ;D ;D

I hope it wasn't a protracted process!

Ah, yes, my coat?  Yes, I'll just go and get it.  :P
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: FraserandFraser on Wednesday 02 July 08 17:51 BST (UK)
In some university's at long as you can use one of those you get a degree
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: patrish on Wednesday 02 July 08 17:53 BST (UK)
We were recipients of Heir Hunters several years ago .... not Frazer and Frazer but  Lord and Lady Teviot who were featured on the programme today  :D
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Blackburn Fossil on Wednesday 02 July 08 18:44 BST (UK)
Makes morning TV watchable  ;D and me very jealous, please come knocking at my door soon Neil - half mil will do fine  ;D ;D ;D

Neil drop trystan a PM and get that posting counter fixed seems stuck on 1 posting

Ken

Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Aulus on Wednesday 02 July 08 18:45 BST (UK)

Neil drop trystan a PM and get that posting counter fixed seems stuck on 1 posting




I wondered what was going on there, but then realised that posts in the "The Lighter Side" forum don't count towards your post count.
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: FraserandFraser on Wednesday 02 July 08 18:54 BST (UK)
Looks like I will stay on 1 then
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Blackburn Fossil on Wednesday 02 July 08 19:06 BST (UK)

Neil drop trystan a PM and get that posting counter fixed seems stuck on 1 posting




I wondered what was going on there, but then realised that posts in the "The Lighter Side" forum don't count towards your post count.

Opps

Completely forgot about the non count in this forum - but you can still come knock on my door  ;)

Moderator comment: Topics merged
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Mr. MIGKY on Thursday 03 July 08 08:19 BST (UK)
What did this topic get merged with? and where is the link for it?

Moderator comment: Topics merged
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: mshrmh on Thursday 03 July 08 09:19 BST (UK)
I've now caught up with the recordings of the first three programmes & feel this is a better put together series so far than the first. I feel as though there's more emphasis on the research & work needed rather than trying to make it a "drama" & "chase". I've been interested into the insights where things aren't straightforward - eg transposing names, looking for siblings based on multiple names, seeing a Jewish marriage certificate etc - nothing like as glib as some of the Who Do You Think You Are programmes where results appear as if by magic sometimes.
I first came across this "heir hunting" some years ago on a radio programme which featured a genealogist who (like the Teviots) looked at smaller estates - the one featured was that of a lady in Wales - they talked about twin birth certificates showing time of birth & even traced the family baptisms (several done together) so it was useful in showing some of the things that are regularly found that cause questions.

Thanks to Fraser & Fraser for their participation in the TV series & to Neil for his comments here.
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: trish251 on Thursday 03 July 08 09:21 BST (UK)
It sounds so interesting - I would like someone to sell it to the ABC down under  :)

Trish
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Necromancer on Thursday 03 July 08 09:56 BST (UK)
certainly meticulous research !

I'm especially impressed with developing a list of the offspring of siblings, and locating them in 28 hours. (as with the Atkins from West Derby yesterday)

I could do the 'did Myrtle get married and have any kids' (post 1911/12) alright - but how do you find out where the offspring of Myrtle - say 3 kids born in the 1940s - are today ?

Electoral Rolls I guess .... but what if the 'no publicity' box is ticked , and/or if there are a couple of dozen of those names  ???
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: annieoburns on Thursday 03 July 08 10:54 BST (UK)
There was a batchelor uncle in the family who has died long since. For various reasons, contact had been lost with him since the early 1950's.  My father thinks he was the only living relative and had a letter from an 'heir hunter' some 10 years ago which he threw in the bin thinking it was a 'scam'.  I presume there was a window for making a claim - now long past.

 I would like to try and fill out details and wonder if there is an archive for unclaimed estates?
 
Another one of those very common names and I had no luck looking through Death index.   I hope someday to locate a family grave and perhaps he is buried there.

Anne
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: FraserandFraser on Thursday 03 July 08 11:20 BST (UK)
The time limit is fairly long, up to 30 years. Your best bet is to check for a probate and see who it goes to. Most heir hunters will try more than once to get in contact.
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Necromancer on Thursday 03 July 08 11:26 BST (UK)
previous post - Electoral Roll question ?

How do you research it (192.com ?) and what if its been designated 'no publicity ?


Cheers !
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: FraserandFraser on Thursday 03 July 08 11:34 BST (UK)
so many questions, I can't give away to many trade secrets!

we dont use 192.com

we have several different pieces of people finding software as well as our library, costs a lot of money and the truth is if you don't want to be found we cant find you. I just don't have access to all the records I would like (bank and full electoral role's)

I do have some stuff that I just cant tell you about
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Necromancer on Thursday 03 July 08 11:38 BST (UK)
Fair enough !

I found an Uncles marriage and hence my cousins birth and probable marriage - but when I use 192 or Directory Enqs, theres just too many possibilities to pin him down ..... plus he may have ticked the box  :D
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: aghadowey on Thursday 03 July 08 11:46 BST (UK)
Isn't it only in the last few years that one could tick the box to be left off 'public' electoral rolls? Or perhaps Northern Ireland is different?
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Necromancer on Thursday 03 July 08 11:51 BST (UK)
I think so ..... but its only the last few years one can search it seems.
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: FraserandFraser on Thursday 03 July 08 11:57 BST (UK)
it is from 2001-2002 that there is the box there are other records that we can access. So that makes little difference.
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: toni* on Thursday 03 July 08 12:20 BST (UK)
. I just don't have access to all the records I would like (bank and full electoral role's)


good i wouldnt be happy if anyone had access to my bank records
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: FraserandFraser on Thursday 03 July 08 12:29 BST (UK)
There is a shared database that is used by the financial institutions to link names dates of birth and addresses it covers all movements. Most banks don't use the Electoral role, but can search for any one on this database, that includes when they are chasing a debt. I would like to use this to find people to give them the money. I don't think the government have access to this.
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: kooky on Friday 04 July 08 11:56 BST (UK)
Interesting this morning, when lots of cousins found, then a third wife, and her children shared the lot!
Kooky
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Necromancer on Friday 04 July 08 12:22 BST (UK)
Thanks - but no spoilers please, some of us cant watch it till later in the day   ;)
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: davidft on Friday 04 July 08 14:25 BST (UK)
Re todays programme (4 July) what was the value of the Higgins estate? I know they said £70,000 and that is what is on the BBC website but i am sure at the end one of the two beneficiaries said she was getting £95,000 - or have i got it wrong?

Anyone know?
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: kooky on Friday 04 July 08 14:37 BST (UK)
Sorry, got over excited!
Kooky
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Mogsmum on Saturday 05 July 08 10:57 BST (UK)
So far as I can see, no-one has yet mentioned the fees companies like these charge and, from the programmes I've watched, no mention has been made there either.

I do know someone however, who was quite recently, approached by a company such as that featured in the programme and their fee was .... 22% + VAT!!!

It would be interesting to know what the featured firm does charge

Of course people have the right not to 'sign up', but I can't help but feel the programme is little more than an advert for the company in question and in addition, wonder how many - particularly older people - would just hear the '.. you're entitled to his estate ...' without realising fully what they are signing up to and 22% + VAT is a helluva lot.   Also, I'm pretty sure this is something which comes under the Unsolicited Goods and Services Act and anyone approached by such a firm would do well to read the Act before signing anything.

My concern is, that having watched the programme people may not be made fully aware of the implications, will be influenced to 'sign up' without realising that, if they are entitled to all or part of an estate, that they don't actually have to give 22% + VAT of it to a third party.   Caveat emptor.

Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Necromancer on Saturday 05 July 08 11:19 BST (UK)
Quote
I can't help but feel the programme is little more than an advert for the company in question


the 3 programmes I've watched feature 2 companies and make frequent references to others 'in competition'

I really doubt that the BBC would want to be promoting one particular companies services ?

Regarding the 'Unsolicited Goods / Services Act' - I would be very sure that a company in this (regulated ?) line of business would be advising potential clients of their rights, and doubtless theres a cooling-off period as well as other 'get out' clauses ... indeed the company can effectively change its mind about offering you their services, so vice versa will be true ...

The bottom line is that people dont sign - at least 2 in the programmes so far ..... which means a bigger chunk of the estate, but a lot of work doing the research and due diligence documentation required to obtain probate .... if indeed one was capable of doing it ...
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: silvery on Saturday 05 July 08 12:13 BST (UK)

The bottom line is that people dont sign - at least 2 in the programmes so far ..... which means a bigger chunk of the estate, but a lot of work doing the research and due diligence documentation required to obtain probate .... if indeed one was capable of doing it ...


Quite agree, Newfster.

The outlay to trace all the records, staff hours, database purchase, certificates, offices and everything connected....it's a business.  And they're in business to make a profit.  And a lot of businesses run at more than 22% in order to cover overheads.
If they didn't invest in all this, the money would revert to the government, and the recipient would NEVER KNOW.

Frankly I think people are just plain greedy.  100% of nothing is nothing,  which is what would be the result if the firms didn't invest in the tracing of potential heirs.

Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Sylviaann on Saturday 05 July 08 14:09 BST (UK)
I have this vision of one of them coming to the door and me providing them with the family tree.  Then I don't get a penny.   Too many cousins on both my sides for there to be any money for me.

I enjoy the programme.  It is meant to be entertainment after all.  Some people are taking it too seriously.

I do believe that there are lots of people on here who could set up a business like the Teviots, looking for older, smaller amounts.  It would be interesting

Sylviaann
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: patrish on Saturday 05 July 08 18:09 BST (UK)
Quote
100% of nothing is nothing,

Thats exactly how we felt, we would never have found it without them anyway as we did not know of these relatives  existance.
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: lyla on Monday 07 July 08 01:26 BST (UK)
Hi, I'm enjoying the new series but I'm a bit confused. The beginning of each programme shows F&F on a thursday morning choosing a name from the new list published by Bona Vacantia. The list on that website doesnt show the estate values so how do they know which ones are worth following up?  The names listed on the bbc website do have the estate values so I assume they must have been available somewhere?

Lyla
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: mshrmh on Monday 07 July 08 08:26 BST (UK)
Lyla - Bona Vacantia did used to put the values on its site. I think somewhere on one of the earlier threads it was mentioned that they'd had to remove this after there were attempts at scams after the first series of Heir Hunters - such is life!

I'd be interested to know how they choose now too - on one of the programmes I did get the impression that by looking at electoral rolls, land registry and talking to neighbours they were trying to assess whether the person had property - perhaps Neil Fraser can tell us, or it may be a valuable trade secret ;)
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: lyla on Monday 07 July 08 09:11 BST (UK)
Oh what a pity. It must make the job so much harder now. Imagine doing all that work and building up the hopes of the beneficiaries only to find out there was just a few quid in the pot.

Another question for Neil. Are all the names on the BBC websites people that F&F have tried to trace and have failed? I assume the death certificates at least have already been obtained because you know the dates of birth.

Lyla
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: annieoburns on Monday 07 July 08 10:46 BST (UK)
I would be interested in the other end of the scale, say 30 years on and just when estate is about to be forfeited to the state as no claims.  Is there a list of these?   I suppose success rate drops off dramatically with time lapse hence less intentive for commercial firms.

I would imagine they pick out the more interesting names especially those with middle name as easier to make progress with.  A person's address would be a good indicator of wealth as, if owned, might form large part of estate.  Surely they do not wait 30 years to dispose of property?  Presumably someone intervenes and money is held in case a claim is made,

Anne
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: mshrmh on Monday 07 July 08 11:14 BST (UK)
Anne - that's interesting what you say about
Quote
the other end of the scale, say 30 years on and just when estate is about to be forfeited to the state as no claims.  Is there a list of these?   I suppose success rate drops off dramatically with time lapse hence less intentive for commercial firms.

There is one thing that might help on some of the older unclaimed estates - ie the availability of the census as a possible source of information. Say, for example someone died in 1980 there's is probably a higher chance of finding their parents together on the 1901 census than there is for someone who died in 2007 - that could lead to siblings/grandparents/aunts & uncles. Having said that I'm suspect that all other avenues will already have been tried long ago on any estate of size so this might apply to very few.

I too can't think that they wait 30 years to realise the estate - perhaps someone knows what is standard practice. I suppose that assets are realised & monies transferred to the Treasury & any later claims have access to the money then, in the same way as is supposed to be the case in future with "dormant" savings accounts.
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: madpants on Tuesday 08 July 08 17:47 BST (UK)
I'm really enjoying this series of Heir Hunters,

Neil, why don't you add your name to Tephra's scavenger hunt list to see if you can find any more out about Neta/Nettie Axen?  ;D
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: mosiefish on Tuesday 08 July 08 22:48 BST (UK)
Hi,

Only just came across this thread.  Yes. I too enjoy watching Heir Hunters and thank you Neil for contributing to this thread.

However, I still cringe everytime it is on as I remember getting a letter several years ago from a company in London asking me to contact them.  I also thought it was a scam and binned it.  Argghhhh!!! 

Mo
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Suki 1 on Tuesday 08 July 08 23:47 BST (UK)
My dad  was one of the beneficiaries through Fraser & Fraser.  ;D In 1995 he got a letter about a relative he didnt know about saying he was entitled to a share in her estate - a 1/54th of £200,000!!! I think he ended up with just over £2000. Fortunately he kept all the paperwork they sent him and its been a good help with my family tree. I got loads of names & BMD's that I wouldnt have known about so they did my work for me, Good lads!!!. Pity it wasnt a closer relative though  :'(
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: toni* on Wednesday 09 July 08 08:46 BST (UK)
I watched the Atkins one last night on I-Player
i am not going to give anything away for those who have not watched it but i think they shouldn't assume middle names although they were correct in this case.

what they said is there is only one birth with the middle name which matches the middle inital of R but she could have equally been registered with no middle name showing. and also they didnt know the mothers age, all they had to go on was the deceased birth certificate, this does not show ages of the parents but they checked a certain period of time for the mothers birth, i assume they go on the time of the menstrutal period? i.e. from aged what are we talking 14 to age 50 ???

Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: FraserandFraser on Wednesday 09 July 08 13:19 BST (UK)
We did a little more than just look on Free BMD but we do have some trade secrets.


there isn't a list of cases approaching the 30 year dead line, sorry
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: toni* on Wednesday 09 July 08 13:23 BST (UK)
We did a little more than just look on Free BMD but we do have some trade secrets.



Hi,

how do you know if a birth was registered without a middle name that the person didnt gain one later in life?

i don't know when the producing / cross referencing of certifcates to prove who you were when you went to get married etc came into force.



Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: aghadowey on Wednesday 09 July 08 13:53 BST (UK)
how do you know if a birth was registered without a middle name that the person didnt gain one later in life?
Both my grandfathers changed their middle names when young- one had none but added his great-grandmother's surname as a teenager and the other changed it from his father's middle name to the name of a teacher/close family friend (both started with D). My middle name was legally changed when I was in my 20s.
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: toni* on Wednesday 09 July 08 14:09 BST (UK)
aghadowey
legally changed you say, thats different then just addingone or gaining one at say baptisim for example,
i don't think there is a register of name changes by deed poll is there

how did you know they had changed their names / surnames
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: spof on Wednesday 09 July 08 14:23 BST (UK)

i don't think there is a register of name changes by deed poll is there


No there isn't. At least not for most people. This libnk gives a good summary of the situation

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/RdLeaflet.asp?sLeafletID=176

Glen
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Necromancer on Wednesday 09 July 08 14:29 BST (UK)
Trade secrets .......  ;)
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: aghadowey on Wednesday 09 July 08 14:29 BST (UK)
Toni-
Have grandfather's birth certificate without middle name but all other records I've found has the middle name. Older sister said he added name after death of his father (aged about 15 or so).
Other grandfather- have record of name from family Bible (no birth certificate), school, marriage records, etc. My grandmother (his wife) told me why he changed the name.

My birth certificate records one middle name which would have been used on school and medical records, etc. After I went to court (not by Deed Poll as in U.K.) to change the name I had to apply for a new (amended) birth certificate and a notation was made with the change on the origional record. My passport and other records all have new middle name as it is my legal name but there were a few legal forms I've had to fill out that asked for all previous names.
Title: Re: "HEIR HUNTERS"
Post by: Indaloman on Thursday 10 July 08 10:28 BST (UK)
I tgink they are entitled to more information from the government. Even though it is in the government's best interest thatthey fail.

Also, they do alot of research based on searches at the registrar office and by searching obituaries which anyone can do.

The difference between us and them is that they need to do it at a fairly fast pace. It pays them to do so, whereas it costs us.

One of these companies contacted my wife as an heir, they tell younothing until you sign up, including VAT they wanted 51%!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I told all the family to refuse and we got it down to 33%
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: pjbuk007 on Thursday 10 July 08 11:20 BST (UK)
Just to reiterate to those who have not read the very helpful link about name changes posted by spof:-

You DO NOT have to change your name by deed poll in the UK, in fact few people probably do/did use this device.  You can use any name you like, as long as it is not for illegal purposes.

That is it briefly, but the link explains most of it.

Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: FraserandFraser on Thursday 10 July 08 11:26 BST (UK)
51% sounds a lot I have never heard of a fee like that before.

fees are dependent on the case, where it comes from how hard it is to solve and how many other firms are involved.

We never talk about fees as it is a confidential matter between the heirs and the companies.

What you have to be very careful with is the big firms have a one off % charge then do all the work needed for that fee. Some of the smaller firms offer a very low fee 5% or lower and then get the heir to instruct their company or their solicitor who then builds up the charges to counter the very low %. The larger firms are a lot more efficient and usually can finish off the case a lot quicker that a small firm.

What we have found that by having Andrew my brother and a Chartered Building Surveyor and Charles a Solicitor we can usual ensure that any property is sold correctly getting the best value for money. (Andrew and Charles are not allowed to charge for their time when they are working for the estate)

You usually get what you pay for although our fees can seem a little high and a bit of a shock at times the service that is being offers we think is very good value for money.

I have said my bit and don't really want to get into a discussion about fee's. This is "the lighter side" isn't it.

Thanks

Neil


****NEWS FLASH****

There is a rumour that the first series of the show (15 programs from 7 Jun last year) will be repeated the weeks following this series.


There is also a plan under way to put out a 30min program @ 7.30 in the evening on Wednesday 16th Jul


****************************************
 
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Necromancer on Thursday 10 July 08 11:30 BST (UK)
Good to see the 1911 census being exploited in yesterdays episode !


Still impresses me how quickly you get a list of siblings developed - seems that the Film Readers are faster than looking at the GRO pages online !

Loved the 'Ferrari' comment in that programme too    ;D
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: FraserandFraser on Thursday 10 July 08 11:36 BST (UK)
Yes our film readers are quicker, old tec beats new!!


However the film we have are not the same as the ones in most places as we have indexed and re spliced them.

1911 census is going to be a very impressive resource when it is released. not sure if we exploited it just used it to prove alot of facts wrong!

That case had us all gripped the pictures by both William Roberts and Jacob Kramer are very impressive they both have works in the Tate and National portrait gallery. May be with a few people looking they could put on a joint display telling the whole story.

Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Helen Aitchison on Thursday 10 July 08 12:14 BST (UK)
I have been fascinated by the discussions, especially the one about searching by relying on a second name. 

My great grandmother's birth certificate remained elusive until I discovered her by doing a general search on her surname and I found her registered 4 months after she was born with no first names given!  She was just recorded as a girl.  Her father died shortly afterwards and I suspect he may have been ill which caused the delay in deciding on her names?  Or maybe she wasn't expected to live?  No way of finding out now.

Also for generations, and it still happens regularly, our family members have been known by the second given name or even a nick name only.  It has caused considerable extra work to find them.

Also my great grandmother for some reason (could it have been a then recent high court case against her husband at which she represented him as he was in S Africa?) gave her christian name in the census as Mary when in fact she was never  Mary but Annie Camilla.  I found her by putting in my grandfather's name of Amian for which there were only 2 records in the whole census (and the other was a girl) and luckily he was still living at home with some sisters too.

I have been lucky to introduce several second cousins of mine (and great uncles) to their first cousins.  Very satisfying result of extensive research and much appreciated by relatives who thought they were the last of their generation. 

My husband suggested I should look for employment as an Heir Hunter and it was this that lead to my reading and registering for this site.  Can anyone tell me what is required to be an Heir Hunter for an established firm please?

Helen
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: DMCD on Thursday 10 July 08 12:40 BST (UK)
On the programme when they say "The latest list has just been released by the Government" where is this list published? are there any links to it? or is it just a matter of serching through the Bona Vacantia search tool

Cheers Dave
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Aulus on Thursday 10 July 08 15:05 BST (UK)
I remember getting a letter several years ago from a company in London asking me to contact them.  I also thought it was a scam and binned it.  Argghhhh!!! 

Mo

These days that must be a common reaction.  And you raise an interesting point.

We know Fraser & Fraser are a legitimate, reputable company.

But if you got a letter from Steptoe, Walker and Trotter Ltd, purporting to be probate researchers, how would you know to believe it or not?
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: FraserandFraser on Thursday 10 July 08 15:37 BST (UK)
some simple rules to follow

1. The first contact will not under normal circumstances come vir email, there is no central database so it is next to imposable to trace.

2. The company should have a web page, listing there phone, and address

3. The phone number should be in the phone book

4. The address should not be a po. box

5. although there are foreign companies that work in the UK most don't so be careful if you are approached by an overseas company, I don't know any African firms.

6. if the Value sounds very large, Millions of pounds it is probably a scam.

7. Even if you have been approached by some one claiming to work for a genuine firm make sure the phone number and email address is the same as the one on there web page and in the phone book.

8. check out there registers, Data protection, companies house (Fraser & Fraser is a partnership so is not registered there),FSA, ISO.

9 do a simple google search and see it they come up any ware that they shouldn't, but make sure they do come up.

10 ask your solicitor.

11 finally as a last resort ask one of the other firms if they have heard of them, we all know each other.



Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Necromancer on Thursday 10 July 08 15:39 BST (UK)
Quote
On the programme when they say "The latest list has just been released by the Government" where is this list published? are there any links to it? or is it just a matter of serching through the Bona Vacantia search tool

Cheers Dave
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: trish251 on Thursday 10 July 08 15:53 BST (UK)

5. although there are foreign companies that work in the UK most don't so be careful if you are approached by an overseas company, I don't know any African firms.


Most of us have heard from one or more of these folks ;D

Thank you all for such an interesting thread - I do wish we could watch the show down under.


Trish
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: DMCD on Thursday 10 July 08 16:13 BST (UK)
Quote
On the programme when they say "The latest list has just been released by the Government" where is this list published? are there any links to it? or is it just a matter of serching through the Bona Vacantia search tool

Cheers Dave


 ??? ??? ???

Is there something missing from your reply or am I missing something....TA
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Necromancer on Thursday 10 July 08 16:15 BST (UK)
No, I was simply bringinging it to Neil's attention, as he had answered the question following your question ..... and I too would like to know

 :D :D :D
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: FraserandFraser on Thursday 10 July 08 16:16 BST (UK)
didnt answer for a reason.

sorry some things are trade secrets.
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: bevbee on Thursday 10 July 08 16:20 BST (UK)
Fascinating thread, and great to have Neil answering.

I'm enjoying the series, but I wish the BBC would finish one story, then move on to another, instead of breaking off in the middle then repeating everything when they come back to it. Really annoying!

Neil, I'd love your job - I'd be in my element.  ;D
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: annieoburns on Thursday 10 July 08 16:40 BST (UK)
Well I think we are being spoilt having an episode every day!  So obviously it is full of repeat bits that might not be so annoying on a weekly basis ( DG for fast forward button  :) ).

Also it is set up for commercial channels so it revving up/recap for   taking those frequent ad breaks.

Be nice if they could be persuaded to use their data resources for simple family research... maybe they do? an hourly rate?

Anne
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: DMCD on Thursday 10 July 08 16:54 BST (UK)
didnt answer for a reason.

sorry some things are trade secrets.

 :'(
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: mshrmh on Thursday 10 July 08 16:54 BST (UK)
Quote
On the programme when they say "The latest list has just been released by the Government" where is this list published?
There's an advert in the Times every Thursday - don't know about the online version, but it's normally on the page with BMD announcements in the paper version. Perhaps it also goes in the London Gazette?

Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Necromancer on Thursday 10 July 08 17:01 BST (UK)
How can the Treasury's list of declared intestate estates be a Trade Secret    ;D ;D ;D


But message understood  :P
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Mean_genie on Thursday 10 July 08 18:28 BST (UK)
'm enjoying watching 'Heir Hunters' too, but years ago I used to be entertained by Fraser and Fraser (and the other probate firms) in a different way.

Before the Internet, and even before film and fiche versions of the GRO Indexes were widely available, firms like Frasers had no option but to use the index books in St Catherine's House. I used to see them there in the 80s and 90s - and it's fun now seeing many familiar faces on TV.

Because there was only one set of indexes that everyone had to use, it got very interesting when firms were in competition on a big case. They could be literally shoulder to shoulder with a competitor working on the same case, all desperate to keep their notes hidden from each other. One researcher I knew was an accomplished linguist, and used to make notes in Russian, so that the competition couldn't read them, and another once left a shorthand pad of 'decoy notes' in the pub that they all used! All hell would break loose if someone mislaid their real notes, though. If someone found an entry they were looking for, they might memorise the details and carry on looking in a few more volumes in case a competitor was watching.

It was much less fun when big firms like Frasers started buying their own copies of the indexes, and doing their searching in-house (although at least it left more room for the rest of us to get at the index books).

Incidentally, it was a spin-off from heir hunting that led to some online BMD indexes; one of the other large firms, Title Research, had also bought a set of the indexes and went a step further in scanning and digitising them for their own use. They went on to make these available on the website, 1837online, which eventually grew into Findmypast.

Mean_genie
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: kennethchambers87 on Friday 11 July 08 10:31 BST (UK)
Just found this site after watching the programme on TV.
Could you tell me if employment is available in this line of work in Lancashire/Manchester areas.?What qualifications do you need?

Thanks
Diane
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: toni* on Friday 11 July 08 11:03 BST (UK)
Do Fraser & Fraser only take on one case a week ?
the programme hints that they do ona Thursday but they employ several different case workers and outside agents so i think they must allocate one case a piece each week if not more.

how long does it usually take to crack a case, the programme makes it look like its done in one day  :o

Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: FraserandFraser on Friday 11 July 08 11:15 BST (UK)
We work several cases, at the same time.

We currently have about 1500 open case, in varying states. a usual case takes between 12 to 18 months to finish off. Overseas cases take longer.

We used to work between 1 and 5 cases of the type shown on TV per week, now we don't have values on the cases we look at between 5-15 cases every week and end up finishing off 3-5 of them. The others are dropped after a few hours work because of the value. We then allocate them to the guys on the road. You may have spotted a small error in Mondays program when I said it would take Paul 8 hours to get to Great Yarmouth, it was because every one else was on the road and Paul was in the middle of Wales working another case that we had just dropped.

PLEASE don't ask me for a job we have 20+ emails and calls every day asking for a job, just today I had 4 CV by post aswell as the emails I don't read them, as we don't need staff.
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: kennethchambers87 on Friday 11 July 08 11:19 BST (UK)
Sorry
Didn't ask for employment,just what qualifications are needed and where to look.
D
Title: Heir Hunters
Post by: JCB327 on Friday 11 July 08 19:46 BST (UK)
Having Just read about the Series Heir Hunters

On the programme when they say "The latest list has just been released by the Government" where is this list published? are there any links to it?

I know they have been quiet a few people ask this question but like the rest i would like to see this list they get at 6 in the morning

Is there anybody who can help with my relatives that have gone to Italy

Moderator comment: topics merged
Title: Re: Heir Hunters
Post by: davidft on Saturday 12 July 08 10:03 BST (UK)

On the programme when they say "The latest list has just been released by the Government" where is this list published? are there any links to it?


Here is a link to the bonavacantia site where the Government publish details of the estates. You can search in a number of ways or look at the whole list! Good luck.

http://www.bonavacantia.gov.uk/forms/estate_search.asp
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: lyla on Saturday 12 July 08 10:53 BST (UK)
The thing is the list on the bona vacantia site was not changed on thursday morning - the names are the same as the ones that were there the previous week (unless they have just added new ones to the list)
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Willow 4873 on Sunday 13 July 08 17:58 BST (UK)
Actually this has got me thinking - what happened to my great aunt Dorothys estate?

How long after a death can you apply for a copy of a will (if she left one)? she died 2001

Willow x
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: davidft on Sunday 13 July 08 19:51 BST (UK)
This link should be helpful, its for the Probate Registry.

http://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/cms/1226.htm

You can get a copy of the will (if there was one) by going to their office in London or by postal application to York (which takes a while).
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Willow 4873 on Sunday 13 July 08 21:47 BST (UK)
Hiya Davidft

Thanx for that I will have a look

Willow x
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Eking on Wednesday 16 July 08 11:03 BST (UK)
Questions re yesterdays episode - Alan Fisher

1.  It said he was entitled to a 40k share of his brother's (John Fisher) estate who had died intestate, and this was languishing in a bank account.  Who is reponsible for checking that estate has been shared between the right people.  The sister could have just shared it between her siblings that she had contact with thinking Alan was long gone.

2.  The family decided not to use Fraser & Fraser. Again who is reponsible for checking that there are no other heirs (in this case children) before the claim is validated and paid out to the siblings,neices.

   
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: davidft on Wednesday 16 July 08 13:24 BST (UK)
Fear not, when the claim is made to the Treasury Solicitor the person making the claim has to prove that they have a claim and all the relevant people are included.  The Treasury Solicitor will disallow the claim if they are not satisfied the person making the claim has done enough work checking - indeed earlier in the series F&F mentioned one case they had bounced back by the Treasury Solicitor because they were not happy with it
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: FraserandFraser on Wednesday 16 July 08 14:46 BST (UK)
What DavidFT has said is not correct.

The TS are only interested in finding someone with greater priority than the Crown. The will check to make sure the claimant is an heir and after that they have no further interest.

to take out "leters of administration" you must swear an oath you are then required to distribute the estate acording to the law, there is however no one who checks that you do this. If you are found not to have followed the law you can be jailed for fraud.
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: davidft on Wednesday 16 July 08 14:58 BST (UK)
Thank you for the reply Neil - just goes to prove you can always learn something new.

I was convinced i was correct in what i said about the TS but its a long time since i had anything to do with them, and i respect your knowledge in this area is far greater than anything i knew, or thought i knew.

Apologies to anyone if what i said mislead or confused them.
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: trish251 on Wednesday 16 July 08 15:10 BST (UK)
Hi Folks

I find this very interesting. Wish I could watch the show  :(  If 2 siblings claim an estate & it is finalised & then years later another claimant appears - is it all too late?  or would this be the "fraud" situation?

Trish
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Abiam2 on Wednesday 16 July 08 15:20 BST (UK)
With regard to the programme this morning.  If there are children from the deceased why can they not be heirs if they have been adopted by their mother's new husband?

Surely they would be closer relatives than the deceased's half brothers and sisters?  Or have I got the wrong end of the stick?
Abiam
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Sue15 on Wednesday 16 July 08 15:34 BST (UK)
Dear Trish
At the moment expats cannot get access to the BBC's IPlayer but I understand there are plans to change that situation.

Using this link http://www.bbcworldwide.com/bbcworldwide_channels.htm
you can pick up particularly on bbc america some BBC programmes and again on BBC lifestyle although you need to check the box for Hong Kong to see them in English.
Its possible they could be added to these channels--maybe
I know there is an ongoing petition in the cricket world to get the Iplayer for overseas.

Sorry to go off at a tangent but like Trish I would love to see this programme

Sue
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: davidft on Wednesday 16 July 08 15:37 BST (UK)
With regard to the programme this morning.  If there are children from the deceased why can they not be heirs if they have been adopted by their mother's new husband?


This situation cropped up in the last series of heir hunters. There was a young man whose parents had split up and he went to live with his mother and step father. He was legally adopted by the step-father and altough the young man had been in touch with his natural father before he died he was not entitled to any of the estate when his natural father died as he had been adopted out of the family.

I was very surprised to learn this but apparently when you are legally adopted you cease to be a heir in the family you were born in, but you do become an heir in the family you have been adopted into. I suppose when you think about it, it does make sense - although i still feel sorry for the young man from the earlier series who lost out because of this rule.
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: MH on Wednesday 16 July 08 15:39 BST (UK)
Interested to know from Neil, what tree drawing program F&F use.  From what I have seen on screen, it looks similar to WinGenea, but I doubt that you would enter the data in the way that WinGenea requires.  What else could it be?


Maurice
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Abiam2 on Wednesday 16 July 08 17:04 BST (UK)
Thanks Davidft,

Still seems a bit unfair after all they are blood relatives of their Dad whatever the 'Grown ups' do!

Abiam
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: annieoburns on Wednesday 16 July 08 17:15 BST (UK)
Repeat of Heir Hunters being aired tonight on BBC1 at 7.30pm ... seems it is repeat of just few days ago of morning edition.   I was hoping it would start with first as I missed that one or was it on already?

I wonder if putting of a public notice looking for heirs in newspapers etc resolves situation of heirs appearing years later?  Our bachelor great uncle died I suspect without a will etc, in 1961.  What happens to the estate in the ensuing years? would interest have accrued?  Is there another breed of investigators that look into those about to be claimed by state?

Anne
 
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Sylviaann on Wednesday 16 July 08 17:17 BST (UK)
A lot of heirs haven't signed up to Fraser and Fraser this week.  All that work for nothing.  They should get a fee for tracking people down!

Would love to come to the office to search their records ;D

Sylviaann

Just to say my  grandad saw in a paper that his daughter was being searched for by a solicitor.  She received an inhertance from her God mother who was very rich
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: kooky on Friday 18 July 08 15:30 BST (UK)
It occurred to me that Fraser and Fraser could utilise the 24 order and collect service at GRO Southport. They have a man in Manchester.
I know they usually need to find certs. on the first day, but surely they could use this service?
It only began last Oct. there is a note about it on their web site.
Just a thought! ::)
Kooky
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: FraserandFraser on Friday 18 July 08 15:43 BST (UK)
We have been ordering certs on the 24 hour service for as long as it has been around 20+ years, befor that every cert was produced in 24 hours. we used to collect at the house when the GRO still provided a public service. Now it just has an office we use Southport and have several staff there.
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: kooky on Friday 18 July 08 15:53 BST (UK)
Thank you for reply!
Kooky
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: northern_rose on Sunday 20 July 08 14:47 BST (UK)
It occurred to me that Fraser and Fraser could utilise the 24 order and collect service at GRO Southport. They have a man in Manchester.
I know they usually need to find certs. on the first day, but surely they could use this service?
It only began last Oct. there is a note about it on their web site.
Just a thought! ::)
Kooky

I live in Southport and can report that last summer there was an advert in the local paper from a company similar to F & F for someone to collect certificates from the GRO.
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: patrish on Sunday 20 July 08 15:00 BST (UK)
I bet they had plenty of replies  ;D
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: northern_rose on Sunday 20 July 08 22:15 BST (UK)
Question for Neil (or anyone else who knows!)

In one episode you mentioned getting a Jewish marriage certificate as it contained more info than the registrars version.

What does it contain and how do I get one?

I am specifically interested in two of my husband's ancestors weddings - one from 1811 and one from 1846 both at the Great synagogue Dukes Place.

I also asked the question here
http://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php?topic=316451.new#new

but thought I maybe ought to have asked you direct.

Thanks very much in advance.
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: stanmapstone on Sunday 20 July 08 22:21 BST (UK)
TIPS FOR FINDING MARRIAGE DOCUMENTS FROM JEWISH MARRIAGES IN ENGLAND
See http://www.jgsgb.org.uk/engmarr.shtml

Stan
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: toni* on Monday 21 July 08 09:44 BST (UK)
Hi,

question for Neil

how many times removed can you be to be in line to receive an inhertiance?

i.e. if my 4 x great grandfathers sister was the great grandmother of the deceased

this is all circumstanstial (however you spell it!)


Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: silvery on Monday 21 July 08 11:04 BST (UK)
You could have a look here.   

http://www.wisewills.co.uk/intestate.htm

What they don't mention it that if the estate should go to brothers and sisters, then if they have died, their share goes to their children etc.

Intestacy and probate is more difficult than you imagine.
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: toni* on Monday 21 July 08 11:47 BST (UK)
HI Silvery i sort of know the order but what i didnt know is how far back i.e. how distant a cousin you could go / be  to claim to be a blood relative

but that is a useful link

Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Jean McGurn on Monday 21 July 08 15:19 BST (UK)
Saw Neil and a young lady who inherited 2K on Breakfast News (BBC) this morning. She was a very distant relative and had never even heard of her benefactor.

He explained the rule of blood relative and why, even though a nephew had nursed the person who died he wasn't going to be a beneficiary - this was because he was the late wife's nephew, and therefore wasn't a blood relative..

It would appear that if someone dies and hasn't made a will then any monies have to go to a blood relative otherwise all monies go to the government.

So I think, as Neil said on the programme, we should all make sure we make a Will out. Not sure how this would work if you out-lived  your own family or those you wanted to leave your money to and lost touch with any relatives.

Jean
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Enfield Medcalf on Wednesday 23 July 08 11:44 BST (UK)
Having looked through this thread I would like to say a few things and ask 1 question.
The constant going back and reminding us of the story line after every break is frustrating and could easily be altered but don't the BBC do this in nearly every prog they make i.e  all the antiques progs.
At least Heir Hunters doesn't have those presenters making stupid puns about everything they say.
Why does a box of 'Scrabble' feature in the background of most shots of one employee????  Surely nobody there has time to play Scrabble!!
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: kooky on Wednesday 23 July 08 13:33 BST (UK)
I noticed the Scrabble!

One thing that does annoy me slightly.................
When they are talking about birth records and are actually looking at censuses!
Not a reflection on F and F.
It is probably the production team!

Still enjoy the programme.
Kooky
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Abiam2 on Wednesday 23 July 08 14:32 BST (UK)
It is a very interesting programme but I echo Jean's sentiments about the way it is put together.  The BBC do it with so many of their productions!  It drives me mad and spoils my enjoyment of what could be an excellent programme.  Surely there is enough good content to make all the jumping back and forth unnecessary.  And please follow one story at a time!

As to the Scrabble another case of fitting things together.  But when?

Regards,
Abiam
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: kerryb on Wednesday 23 July 08 14:52 BST (UK)
I tuned into this programme for the first time this week, after a tip off from Toni* about a family name of ours that was in last week.  Sadly not related near enough to get any money but enjoying the programme nevertheless.

My burning question, has Ewart sorted out his car yet?  ;D ;D

Kerry
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: davidft on Wednesday 23 July 08 15:28 BST (UK)

My burning question, has Ewart sorted out his car yet?  ;D ;D

Kerry

He had more car problems today!! Still he didn't want to go to Blackpool, so every cloud has a silver lining  ;)
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: FraserandFraser on Wednesday 23 July 08 15:36 BST (UK)
Time to answer some questions,

Ewart had a problem with his car for about 6 months, various warning lights the problem was found to be "a faulty spark plug" typical Ford couldn't find the fault at first. Ewart is just about to take delivery of a new car a Honda Civic Hybrid. This was someting I wanted to put in the program but was told that they were not allowed to make an advert for F&F, All our new cars are Hybrid's, Dave H was the first to take delivery of his while the program was being made we now have 4, our old cars were Ford Focus's LPG, they are now being replased as they are 4+ years old.

So we are moving from LPG to Hybrid, just shows how Green we try to be even before it was fasionable.


You can be an heir at long as if you are a first cousin (i.e. descended from the Grand parents of the dec) it does not matter how removed. Be carefull how ever the relationship is not reversable so you could inherit from one of your parents cousins, as a first cousin once removed, but the would be a second cousin once removes so not an heir to your estate.
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Mean_genie on Wednesday 23 July 08 15:51 BST (UK)
But what about the Scrabble, Neil, that's what we really want to know?
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: FraserandFraser on Wednesday 23 July 08 15:55 BST (UK)
Scrabble is not my game, I think is is from the old days when we were less busy. the last time i know it was played was when we had a powercut 18 months ago.

being very dyslexic is I am not the best to play, but I could make some very good words if only you were allowed to spell stuff wrong.
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Mean_genie on Wednesday 23 July 08 16:49 BST (UK)
I wondered if they used the tiles to work out the anagrams in the crossword - back in the olden days I used to see Frasers' searchers doing the Daily Mirror crossword at St Catherine's House and in the cafe round the corner (during their official breaks, of course ;))

Mean_genie
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: FraserandFraser on Wednesday 23 July 08 16:58 BST (UK)
May be the times crosword not the mirror
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: sem73 on Wednesday 23 July 08 17:01 BST (UK)
Hi all and Fraser and Fraser!

Great show  ;D .....

Quick question ........ I recently found a deceased estate notice of a distant rellie in the London Gazette online from the early 1960s ...is it possible to find out whether or not it was ever claimed??

Sarah :)
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Mean_genie on Wednesday 23 July 08 17:03 BST (UK)
But you would have been a mere babe in arms then Neil, how could you possibly know?  :D (I'm talking late 1980s here)



Mean_genie
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Enfield Medcalf on Friday 25 July 08 21:47 BST (UK)
How do I get todays edition of Heir Hunters on BBCi?  I can't see any dates.
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: davidft on Friday 25 July 08 22:21 BST (UK)
How do I get todays edition of Heir Hunters on BBCi?  I can't see any dates.

Follow this link and it will take you to the page with all the currently available heir hunters programmes on it

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b007nms5
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: madpants on Saturday 26 July 08 08:38 BST (UK)
BBCi is extremely unhelpful like that  ::)

I have to go on not recognising the surname.....yesterday's was Powis (Have already downloaded it  ;D)
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: kooky on Monday 28 July 08 11:11 BST (UK)
How come we had Nadia this morning?
The details were from 2005!
Have they run out of new programmes?
It was an interesting one though.
How many more weeks to go? Is this the last?

Questions questions..........................

Kooky
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: patrish on Monday 28 July 08 11:18 BST (UK)
It did say it was a repeat in the tv mag .

Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: kooky on Monday 28 July 08 11:31 BST (UK)
Sorry did not notice that! :-[
Kooky
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: FraserandFraser on Monday 28 July 08 11:38 BST (UK)
Yes it was a repeat of the first series.

We were meant to be in a slot starting on 14 Jul but got moved forward. Because the viewing figures were good they have decided to re-run 10 shows from series 1 (June last year) to fill the gap. Series 1 took 18 months in production so was filmed in 2005-2006 even if it was shown in 2007. hence the 2005 dates.

the reruns will finish on the 8th of August, that will be 30 back to back shows! How much more of us could you take.

Neil


Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: madpants on Monday 28 July 08 11:47 BST (UK)
I would take lots more of you  ;D ;).................infinitely preferable to not getting done, getting Dom  ::)
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: FraserandFraser on Monday 28 July 08 11:49 BST (UK)
both us and Dom are made by the same firm "Flame TV" in some strange way we are related!

Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: madpants on Monday 28 July 08 11:54 BST (UK)
I could make some crack about you two separated at birth and the heir hunters finding him years later but I won't  ;D ;D ;D

It's the unfortunate adoption so not entitled story tomorrow if nadia was to be believed this morning.
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: kerryb on Monday 28 July 08 11:56 BST (UK)
I absolutely agree with madpants, so much better viewing than all the usual, antique, house auction, buying programmes that are.

Or am I just biased because I'm into genealogy  ::)

Kerry
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: kooky on Monday 28 July 08 12:13 BST (UK)
I agree too!
In fact, doesn't the programme deserve an evening slot?
Kooky
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: kerryb on Monday 28 July 08 12:18 BST (UK)
No we need more intelligent daytime programmes.  Not all of us who watch daytime TV are braindead or dumb! :(

Kerry


Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: kooky on Monday 28 July 08 12:22 BST (UK)
OK! ;D
Kooky
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: patrish on Monday 28 July 08 14:03 BST (UK)
Yes, lots, lots more please...... anytime I dont care  ;D ;D
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Jayson on Monday 28 July 08 14:56 BST (UK)
I have to confess that I didn't really like the programme to begin with.  However, l watch it regularly now and enjoy it VERY much. 

Seeing this programme has certainly encouraged me to make a will.  I don't like the thought of my money going to someone I've NEVER even met and who I might not have even liked, whatever the family connection.

I wonder if Fraser and Fraser have considered using Rootschat as a means for tracing people?

Jayson  :)
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Necromancer on Monday 28 July 08 15:05 BST (UK)
They have far more resources - esp for actually locating people's whereabouts.
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: DMCD on Monday 28 July 08 15:13 BST (UK)
They have far more resources - esp for actually locating people's whereabouts.

Yeh Google Earth  ;D ;D ;D

With the planned photographing of all our houses they will be able to see if were in or not... :D
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: FraserandFraser on Monday 28 July 08 15:38 BST (UK)
the google earth thing is amazing.

 They already use this technology in the US and you can get some fascinating images, I am not to concerned about invasion of personal privacy though as there are 20 million house holds in the UK why would some one look at yours and what can they do with it. May make identifying a property for value of the estate a little easier.
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: patrish on Monday 28 July 08 15:48 BST (UK)
Please can more than one Probate Company put in a claim to the Treasury if they have signed up several heirs between them  ???
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: FraserandFraser on Monday 28 July 08 16:00 BST (UK)
Yes but the TS will only look at the first compleat claim, the other companies must then prove there claim to the first firms solicitors. This is where some of the smaller less honorable firmes try to make money.

The sign just 1 heir at a very low fee, race to get the paperwork to the TS,  then charge the estate for the administration of going through the paperwork associated with the other heirs thus they virtually get a fee from every heir even if they have only signed 1.

F&F have it in our paper work that we will not make any additional charges to the estate, unfortunately very few others work this way. Hence the heir can think they are getting a good deal until the final accounts are seen and there are huge additional charges.
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Aulus on Monday 28 July 08 18:23 BST (UK)
Yes but the TS will only look at the first compleat claim, the other companies must then prove there claim to the first firms solicitors. This is where some of the smaller less honorable firmes try to make money.

The sign just 1 heir at a very low fee, race to get the paperwork to the TS,  then charge the estate for the administration of going through the paperwork associated with the other heirs thus they virtually get a fee from every heir even if they have only signed 1.

F&F have it in our paper work that we will not make any additional charges to the estate, unfortunately very few others work this way. Hence the heir can think they are getting a good deal until the final accounts are seen and there are huge additional charges.

I don't think that's been mentioned "on air" - which is a shame, as it's a very good point.
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: patrish on Monday 28 July 08 18:35 BST (UK)
Quote
until the final accounts are seen

Thats interesting..... my husband was never shown any accounts  ???
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: DMCD on Monday 28 July 08 22:10 BST (UK)
the google earth thing is amazing.

 They already use this technology in the US and you can get some fascinating images, I am not to concerned about invasion of personal privacy though as there are 20 million house holds in the UK why would some one look at yours and what can they do with it. May make identifying a property for value of the estate a little easier.

Yes it is great for that as we have used it to view properties and surrounding area in Canada as we are emigrating and wanted to see houses where we are moving to....However it's also been used by kids for identifying houses with swimming pools who organise illegal "Dipping" parties who gate crash peoples houses when they are away & hols a rave up...so If you have a pool  :o

Think this is great show by the way.

Is there any reason why you don't cover Scotland? Well in the show you don't seem to & also when they ask for public help during the show Scotland is never covered.

Cheers Dave
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: aghadowey on Monday 28 July 08 22:44 BST (UK)
Scottish legal system is different than that in England so perhaps that's why Scotland isn't covered?
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: hume on Monday 28 July 08 23:29 BST (UK)
Is there any reason why you don't cover Scotland? Well in the show you don't seem to & also when they ask for public help during the show Scotland is never covered.

I did notice ScotlandsPeople being used in one of last week's episodes; however, the narration failed to mention births around the years they were looking for are unavailable online and either you need to send for them (at a cost) or have a researcher on hand at the Register House in Edinburgh. I'm assuming it's the latter on the programme! ;)

hume24
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: FraserandFraser on Friday 01 August 08 10:50 BST (UK)
We do work in Scotland and have a researcher there. The law is diffrent and dont appear on the usual list.

The good thing is in scotland is that there should never be an unclaimed case as we can research as far back through the generations until we find an heir, not just 1st cousins like in the England and Wales
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: patrish on Friday 01 August 08 14:09 BST (UK)
Is there a time limit put on by the Treasury for a claim on a deceased estate please  Neil  ???
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: FraserandFraser on Friday 01 August 08 14:11 BST (UK)
Yes
30 years!
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: patrish on Friday 01 August 08 14:55 BST (UK)
Thank you.... much longer than I had imagined
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: hume on Friday 01 August 08 21:19 BST (UK)
We do work in Scotland and have a researcher there. The law is diffrent and dont appear on the usual list.

The good thing is in scotland is that there should never be an unclaimed case as we can research as far back through the generations until we find an heir, not just 1st cousins like in the England and Wales


Thank you for the info. :) I did wonder how the Scottish system differed from England & Wales.

hume24
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: toni* on Saturday 02 August 08 18:30 BST (UK)
do you have to die in Scotland to come under this Scottish Law?
silly question perhaps
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: lyla on Monday 04 August 08 17:28 BST (UK)
On a programme last week there was a mention of an unclaimed estate of a John Barker who died in Islington. His name does not appear on the BBC website so can I assume that his estate has subsequently been claimed since the first series? Wondering if he is related to my Islington Barkers.

I would be interested to know whether any of the cases got resolved as a result of the last series.

Lyla
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: madpants on Monday 04 August 08 17:31 BST (UK)
I agree there lyla,  it would be good to know if any of the 'do you know or are you related to **** ' cases ever found any relatives through the programme
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: davidft on Monday 04 August 08 18:43 BST (UK)
"I agree there lyla,  it would be good to know if any of the 'do you know or are you related to **** ' cases ever found any relatives through the programme "

Towards the beginning of the second series they did tell you about one case that had appeared in the first series and had been solved as a result of information received since the programme was first aired. Unfortunately i can not remember the name of the case .
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: scouse_mouse_2000uk on Wednesday 06 August 08 16:16 BST (UK)
Not sure if I have missed it along the way. This question is for Neil, how did you find Rootschat? By the way I watch Heir Hunters and love it. Thumbs up to the Beeb, best thing on there at the moment. A big thumbs up to Grimble, I like him. Lynn xx
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Aulus on Wednesday 06 August 08 16:37 BST (UK)
Not sure if I have missed it along the way. This question is for Neil, how did you find Rootschat?
I wouldn't want to presume to answer for Neil, but I was wondering if you've really never googled your own name, Lynn?  ;D ;)
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: scouse_mouse_2000uk on Wednesday 06 August 08 17:00 BST (UK)
To be truthfull, no I have never done that. Now that you have mentioned it lol, maybe I will lol. Lynn
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: toni* on Thursday 07 August 08 21:51 BST (UK)
is tomorrows episode a repeat ?
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Sylviaann on Friday 08 August 08 09:39 BST (UK)
All episodes with Nadia are repeats from last year.

Sylviaann
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Necromancer on Friday 08 August 08 09:44 BST (UK)
hopefully to be wiped from the archives after this run ..... the repeat segments after each virtual advert pause or topic change are mind numbing. I doubt theres more than a 20 min programme there really, based on actual content.


The new series has a trace of this but not so much .....



..... and breathe ...... 
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: toni* on Friday 08 August 08 18:25 BST (UK)
are they i didnt realise that  ::)

series finsihed just in time for WDYTYA on the13th - when i am on holiday  ::)
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: FraserandFraser on Monday 11 August 08 15:53 BST (UK)
As far as I know there were 2 cases solved thanks to the TV, 1 for some reason had never been worked was only £30k and the TV info didn't realy help, but the case of ALBAN was solved thanks to info a trully amazing story that I think they could have made more of on the TV. no time to explain now I may wright a book it I could remember all the little stories. They have asked for series 3 if we do it I hope to remove all the unclaimed lists and get them to do a bigger segment on less cases but ones that there is a chance of finding an heir.


I found this site thanks to google, we monitor a lot of press to make sure all bad press is corrected befor someone who dosnt know what they are talking about jumps on a band wagon.
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: scouse_mouse_2000uk on Monday 11 August 08 15:58 BST (UK)
Thanx for replying Neil, it is great having an expert on board. Looking forward to series three. It is the best thing the Beeb have come up with (ha ha). Huggles, Lynn x
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Mean_genie on Monday 11 August 08 16:21 BST (UK)
Neil

When you send Bob Smith et al around the country it obviously makes sense to have them in cars, but when they need to whizz around London wouldn't it make more sense to have someone on a motorbike?

One episode in this year's series had one of them (I think it may have been Ewart, what a star!) grinding through London traffic to get to Westminster Register Office, with all the attendant problems of parking etc. I thought at the time that someone from your office could have got there in about 30 minutes door to door by tube (Farringdon-Baker St 10 mins, plus about the same walking time either end, at the most).

Perhaps Bob and Ewart don't see themselves in cycle leathers, but maybe there's someone in the office who does? It would make great TV, too!

Mean_genie
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: scouse_mouse_2000uk on Monday 11 August 08 16:31 BST (UK)
Just thinking of Ewart in bike leathers mmm lol. Lynn x
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: CU on Monday 11 August 08 16:42 BST (UK)
Can someone tell me why when people have died and left so much money,

Why can't they have their funeral pay for by their own money. I have seen the programme and it has

been said  more than once, that either neighbours or friends have paid for the funeral. This must not

be right. The Government should not take all the money, even if there are no relatives.

I think it is terrible they should have a dignity funeral.
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: smeni on Monday 11 August 08 17:33 BST (UK)
I remember when I was employed by a large banking institution, that when someone died, the account was frozen.  However, funds would be released from the account to pay for the funeral on production of the bill from the funeral directors.  Don't know if that still applies, presume it does.
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: skb on Tuesday 12 August 08 17:57 BST (UK)
I was very surprised when watching one of last week's episodes, to spot a certificate with an address in my street!

Didn't know the family though.
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: teulu on Wednesday 03 September 08 09:39 BST (UK)
Dying without a will leaves a fortune behind
Every day someone in the UK dies alone and intestate. This can prove lucrative for whoever turns out to be the next of kin - and to the probate researchers who inform the lucky individual

Interesting Times article

http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/the_way_we_live/article3489901.ece

Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: patrish on Saturday 04 April 09 14:19 BST (UK)
For anyone suffering withdrawl symptoms. ;D

I  was reliably  informed today that there is to be a third series, don't know when though. :(
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Mr. MIGKY on Saturday 04 April 09 15:25 BST (UK)
Any idea when? My luck might be in and some greatdistant rellie really loved me  ;D
Migky  ;)
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: patrish on Saturday 04 April 09 15:58 BST (UK)
Quote
don't know when though

I am afraid she dident say  :(
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Guy Etchells on Saturday 04 April 09 17:15 BST (UK)
Can someone tell me why when people have died and left so much money,

Why can't they have their funeral pay for by their own money. I have seen the programme and it has

been said  more than once, that either neighbours or friends have paid for the funeral. This must not

be right. The Government should not take all the money, even if there are no relatives.

I think it is terrible they should have a dignity funeral.

This is because in law immediately a person dies they no longer own anything.
All their assets (which includes money in the bank) belongs to their heirs.
Cheers
Guy
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: kerryb on Saturday 04 April 09 17:26 BST (UK)
I've been watching the first series and now the second series on one of the history channels recently.  Problem is there obviously weren't that many because I have seen particular episode 3 times now  ::) ::)

Kerry
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Keziahemm on Saturday 04 April 09 18:14 BST (UK)
Next week, Monday-Thursday, 2.15 pm BBC2, repeats of series??  :-\ for those who missed it first time round, or should that be second?

Susan  :)

Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: FraserandFraser on Monday 06 April 09 09:40 BST (UK)
There are a few weeks of repeats from both first ( I think this week) and the second (next 2 weeks) all showing on BBC2 @ 2.15.

More news is that we are just finishing the 3rd series that is due to be shown in the usual June/July 9.15 BBC 1 slot, this is 25 programs this time and shows Fraser's doing all the live cases but several new firms showing some of there interesting solved cases.

We are still looking for the last 1 or 2 cases to make it a bit different and were hoping that a member of the public would have given us a case so it could be filmed from a different sort of angle, what it was like to find out some one had no known family/heirs but so far the few we have filmed have not been suitable. As always if you know of a some thing that is worth us having a look at just drop me an email vir the web page.

Neil

Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Draigcoch on Monday 06 April 09 10:10 BST (UK)
I watched all the programmes when they were on and found them fascinating, I think they should be on at a more prime time to reach a bigger audience.

I'm sure that when doing Genealogy every family has an ancestor who came from a good, well-off family and married beneath them and what happened to the inheritence.

I am really looking forward to the new series and hope to see more in the future.
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: madpants on Monday 06 April 09 10:21 BST (UK)
I love the programme, I'm really pleased there's another series  ;D ;D
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Nick29 on Monday 06 April 09 10:25 BST (UK)
Neil,

I would normally ask this via Personal Message, but as you have so few posts, you can't yet use the PM service, so I will ask the question here.

Do you know if heir hunter companies usually carry indemnity insurance themselves, or is it down to those who get the money to take this out ?

I'm asking because for the past year I have been involved in legal action to recover money from a close relative's estate - the money was paid out to distant cousins, because the heir hunter company involved (I'm pretty sure it wasn't Fraser and Fraser) failed to find either mine or my sister's birth, even though our births were registered in the same London borough that our parents were married in.  My parents didn't get married until nearly 2 years after my sister was born (my mother was still married to someone else), and apparently the company didn't do any searches until after the date of our father's marriage to my mother  ::) ???  They would have no excuse for not finding me, because I was born 2 years after they were married, and my birth was registered in the same office that they were married in (we're talking early 1940's here).

The distant cousins took out a missing heirs indemnity, but they slightly under-insured themselves, and now the insurance company seem to want to haggle over the interest payable, so it's quite likely it will end up in the County Court.

My question is - the heir hunter company involved (and we have yet to find out who it was) did a lousy job finding us, and it's quite likely that we will sue them.  Do heir hunter companies in general have insurance to cover themselves against such actions when big mistake has been made by them ?

Nick.

 
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: FraserandFraser on Monday 06 April 09 10:39 BST (UK)
Nick give me a call in the office, you can get the number from our web site and I will fill in the blanks

Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Nick29 on Monday 06 April 09 22:21 BST (UK)
Thanks Neil.   I'll give you a call within the next couple of days.

Nick.

Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Nick29 on Tuesday 07 April 09 15:39 BST (UK)
To Neil of Fraser & Fraser:

Neil, I'd just like to say a big public Thank You for the help you gave me on the phone this afternoon  :)

I'm very grateful.

Nick.
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: davidft on Wednesday 08 April 09 17:15 BST (UK)
Nick,

Without prying into your personal case could you tell us what the answer was to whether

"heir hunter companies usually carry indemnity insurance themselves, or is it down to those who get the money to take this out ?"

Thanks
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Nick29 on Wednesday 08 April 09 22:46 BST (UK)
Fraser & Fraser certainly do.   I'm not sure if the smaller ones will.  It's not a legal requirement, as far as I know.

Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: davidft on Thursday 09 April 09 12:57 BST (UK)
Thank you Nick. Much appreciated.
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Duck on Thursday 09 April 09 13:26 BST (UK)
I was wondering what firms like Fraser & Fraser do with all the hundreds and hundreds of BMD certificates they must purchase each year.
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: patrish on Thursday 09 April 09 14:07 BST (UK)
My company must have kept them, they never passed any on to me, would have been an invaluable help if they had. ::)

Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: davidft on Thursday 09 April 09 14:41 BST (UK)
In an earlier programme it said that F&F microfilm all the certificates etc that they order - it makes them easier to store. (It also means they can refer to them in future should the need arise). It also said they provide information to any successful heirs of the family research that they have done - although whether this is proactive or reactive I don't know.
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: patrish on Thursday 09 April 09 16:01 BST (UK)
What a shame my wasent with F and F :'(
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: FraserandFraser on Tuesday 23 June 09 13:32 BST (UK)
Thought I should let you know the are some new programs coming out starting next Monday 29th
Would have let you know sooner but we have been run off out feet as of late and we couldn't give as much time to the film crew so there are several firms involved this time. some who I had never heard of before!!  25 programs in total running for 5 weeks. There is even 1 story given to us by an heir hunter viewer who asked for our help.
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: les_looking on Tuesday 23 June 09 14:50 BST (UK)
Thought I should let you know the are some new programs coming out starting next Monday 29th
Would have let you know sooner but we have been run off out feet as of late and we couldn't give as much time to the film crew so there are several firms involved this time. some who I had never heard of before!!  25 programs in total running for 5 weeks. There is even 1 story given to us by an heir hunter viewer who asked for our help.

thanks for that ;) just found it on sky+ BBC 1 9-15am this coming monday
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Draigcoch on Tuesday 23 June 09 16:41 BST (UK)
Brilliant!! Really looking forward to watching, I love the programme.
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Nick29 on Tuesday 23 June 09 17:14 BST (UK)
That's excellent, Neil !  My Sky+ box will be set  :)
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: bevbee on Tuesday 23 June 09 17:28 BST (UK)
I'll look forward to the series - thanks for letting us know.  :D
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: patrish on Tuesday 23 June 09 17:38 BST (UK)
Brilliant.... cant wait  :D
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: kerryb on Tuesday 23 June 09 18:09 BST (UK)
Brilliant news, I was getting a bit bored of seeing the reruns on Watch for the fifth time round  ::)

Kerry
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: CU on Tuesday 23 June 09 18:27 BST (UK)
Cheers, Can't wait  ;D
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: mother25 on Tuesday 23 June 09 20:57 BST (UK)
Hooray!!!  I'm a morning TV junkie I'm afraid, and absolutely love Heir Hunters. I'm also addicted to Homes Under The Hammer - even the repeats  ::) :-[

Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Abiam2 on Thursday 02 July 09 10:42 BST (UK)
I may have missed this but where do you find lists of people that are not recent?  I have been to

 http://www.bonavacantia.gov.uk/output/are-you-an-entitled-relative.aspx

but they seem only to have the very latest lists.   Where are the people who died say in the 70/80's?
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: annieoburns on Thursday 02 July 09 11:10 BST (UK)
That is my question too Abiam!  We have a lost great uncle in our tree and he is my 'brickwall'.  I know he was alive in 1954 but cannot get any more information on him.  Meanwhile my father got a solicitor's (?) letter in the 1980's about him which he thought a scam and put in the bin!  I know it would be a low value estate so not likely to be chased up by the heirhunters.  Just would like to know what became of him and tidy up the tree. 

Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: FraserandFraser on Thursday 02 July 09 11:18 BST (UK)
The only way to check is to see if a claim has been made to the Probate registry for a grant, even the TS have to apply for grants so the older ones may have been taken out by them if no heirs were found. there is no complete list.

London Probate Department
PRFD, First Avenue House
42-49 High Holborn
Ground Floor
Holborn London
England
WC1V 6NP

How to obtain a copy of a will (recorded message with instructions) 020 7947 6983
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: annieoburns on Thursday 02 July 09 11:53 BST (UK)
Would the probate index books in Holborn include the intestate/unclaimed?  Is there a separate set of books?  The main ones are easy to use and alphabetical for each year.  Could one just visit there an check in the open area or is this an inquiry to be handled by the staff and perhaps better done by post?  What does TS stand for?

I checked there for my great grandfather and just because could find no record in years after his death, I assumed there was no will.  This was later confirmed by York office

Anne
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: FraserandFraser on Thursday 02 July 09 12:26 BST (UK)
TS is Treasury Solicitor

there is no easy way to search for a list of unclaimed monies, you can only search for the name of the person who has passed away.

We search 5 years for a probate, ie year of death plus 4

if you die intestate and leave currently more than £5k than a grant of letters of administration have to be take out these are listed in the same way as if there was a will that is probated.
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: annieoburns on Thursday 02 July 09 12:55 BST (UK)
That is interesting about smaller estates not being registered.

That was probably the case with the great grandfather who had a simple buriel and no headstone.  When he died his only child was this great uncle who lived with him, never married and was disabled.  My father was reared by his mother's family as she was  a WW1 widow and  had little to do with his father's side.  He also lived outside UK for working life.

The obvious starting point is to find a record of his death but I have not had success there... must be somewhere as born in 1904!

Remember Heirhunters is on EVERY morning at 9 15am.  My link button to record series will not work so have to make an effort to catch it. I thought the ones so far viewed are better productions with less repetition than previous years.  Obviously they are produced for commercial stations and can be seen to break down into chunks for possible ad breaks.  These ones seem better edited though. 

Anne
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Deb D on Thursday 02 July 09 12:57 BST (UK)
Hi, I'm wondering if I can (probably) be a pest, and ask ...

My Gt-gt-grandfather left his estate to be divided between his three children; two daughters, who never married ... and my gt-grandfather who had emigrated to Australia.  The will stated that gt-grandfather's share would be waiting for him when he returned to England ... but having married, and fathered a huge brood of children, he never did return to England.

Obviously, my question is ... what would have happened to his third share of his father's estate?  Could my late grandmother's tales of "money in Chancery" have any basis in fact?
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: davidft on Thursday 02 July 09 13:21 BST (UK)

1. Remember Heirhunters is on EVERY morning at 9 15am.  My link button to record series will not work so have to make an effort to catch it.

2. I thought the ones so far viewed are better productions with less repetition than previous years.  Obviously they are produced for commercial stations and can be seen to break down into chunks for possible ad breaks.  These ones seem better edited though. 

Anne

Re 1. If you can't record it have a look at the BBCi player for about a week after first broadcast

Re 2. Yes I agree I think the production values of this series are an improvement on the previous ones and make it more watchable IMO.
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: skb on Thursday 02 July 09 16:30 BST (UK)
I thought the ones so far viewed are better productions with less repetition than previous years.  Obviously they are produced for commercial stations and can be seen to break down into chunks for possible ad breaks.  These ones seem better edited though. 

Anne

I agree. I like the way they're including more background and historical context this time.
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: mother25 on Thursday 02 July 09 19:56 BST (UK)
The latest new series is now showing at 9.15a.m. on BBC 1 weekdays. The first programme was shown last Monday 29th June, so there's still time to catch up on BBC i-player if you've missed it  ;)
So far it's a good series and I am particularly looking forward to tomorrow's show as it has connections with a family member.  Nothing to do with me as the connection is by marriage many years ago  :)
The format is better this time, and anyone who has done any family research will know that collecting certificates doesn't really happen as quickly and easily as it seems  ;)
Nevertheless I think the Heir Hunters have the best job, and I'm sure they all enjoy their work most of the time.
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: kerryb on Thursday 02 July 09 20:05 BST (UK)
I'm loving the format of the new series, have been recording it and watching instead of the news each evening.  The new historical bits of information and smaller segments have even got my OH watching who normally shuns anything to do with family history. 

The BBC have really got it right this time in my humble opinion  ;D

Fraser and Fraser always look incredibly busy on the TV, and its also nice to see some fresh faces amongst the now well known ones!

Kerry
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Nick29 on Thursday 02 July 09 23:10 BST (UK)
I wonder if Neil from F & F (or anyone else) can answer a question ...... in a case where there are several beneficiaries that have been traced, what happens if some people agree to sign the agreement with you, and some don't ?  Surely the claim has to be made on behalf of all the claimants, doesn't it ?   This always has me wondering whenever I see a case on Heir Hunters when there's lots of beneficiaries.
 
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: mother25 on Thursday 02 July 09 23:50 BST (UK)
I don't know of course, but I vaguely recall from one of the series of programmes that someone did decline and decided he could do his own research, but that was after he had been told there was a possibility of him inheriting. Prior to that he had no idea who the relative was who had died  :o  I thought that was a bit churlish after F&F had done a lot of the research already  ???
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: MarkyP on Friday 03 July 09 10:15 BST (UK)
Well todays programme was fascinating. Now they've add a bit of historical context to the cases, a bit like Who Do You Think You Are, it makes it even more interesting for us Family Historians  :) And so it proved today as my 2 x Great Grandad and his family travelled on the Empress of Ireland when they emigrated to Canada in 1909, I hadn't realised that it sank just 5 years later!
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: mother25 on Friday 03 July 09 12:38 BST (UK)
Really enjoyed today's programme. I felt so sorry for that lady who got absolutely nothing because her sister-in-law/best friend just hadn't made a will. The beneficiaries were blood relatives and the poor woman was obviously very upset by it all, especially because the bungalow had originally been in her family for many years, but of course when her brother died his wife inherited and then her blood relatives after her death.
I would say this programme should convince anyone who hasn't yet made a will to do so without delay. It doesn't cost much but it will make life so much easier for your relatives after your death, and of course your wishes will be carried out as you wanted.
My connection was with Ernest Phythian, which was another interesting tale. I don't know all the details as it concerns a cousin and she hasn't told me the full story...possibly because it's complicated and she may not know it all  ;D
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: dobfarm on Friday 03 July 09 13:27 BST (UK)
Hi, I'm wondering if I can (probably) be a pest, and ask ...

My Gt-gt-grandfather left his estate to be divided between his three children; two daughters, who never married ... and my gt-grandfather who had emigrated to Australia.  The will stated that gt-grandfather's share would be waiting for him when he returned to England ... but having married, and fathered a huge brood of children, he never did return to England.

Obviously, my question is ... what would have happened to his third share of his father's estate?  Could my late grandmother's tales of "money in Chancery" have any basis in fact?

Hi

I would contact the legal people!! on that! if its more resent times,  But if he had a huge brood of sibling, I think any money will be well spread/shared out even with interests on the money of his share of the will
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Nick29 on Friday 03 July 09 13:46 BST (UK)
Hi, I'm wondering if I can (probably) be a pest, and ask ...

My Gt-gt-grandfather left his estate to be divided between his three children; two daughters, who never married ... and my gt-grandfather who had emigrated to Australia.  The will stated that gt-grandfather's share would be waiting for him when he returned to England ... but having married, and fathered a huge brood of children, he never did return to England.

Obviously, my question is ... what would have happened to his third share of his father's estate?  Could my late grandmother's tales of "money in Chancery" have any basis in fact?

You need to find out who was the executor of the will - you should be able to find this out from the UK Probate Office.  It's quite possible that the money is still being held by a solicitor, and this will have been attracting interest, so could well be a tidy amount.

Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: FraserandFraser on Friday 03 July 09 13:52 BST (UK)
Obviously an estate cant be distributed until the full existent of a the family is known, and there are times when this can be a very drawn out process, but once the full extent is known then we can calculate the exact share each beneficiary is entitled to. So it makes no difference who an heir is represented by or even if they can do the work themselves.
With these cases currently a claim of a single heir is lodged with the TS however you only have to prove that the possible heir has greater entitlement than the crown. That means that at no time do you have to prove the full extent of the family or even that you have found the closest heir. It is only when the oath is sworn at probate that you have to discuss the make up of the family, to the best of your knowledge at the time.

This being the case you can have a single family that is represented by more than 1 firm of genealogists, some heirs doing it them self and some doing nothing hoping it will all be sorted out.

Having said that it makes no difference who or if any one represents an heir there are other point that must be said at this time.

I have no objection in anyone doing it themselves, especially when there is a close relationship and the heir knew the deceased, some times we are only contacting heirs knowing that it is likely they will go by themselves, because we have done the research and there is an off chance we may recover some costs, remember at the start of a case there is no way of knowing what degree of heir we will find. I do however think we are a little hard done by if we have done all the work in finding the heir only to miss out because when the heir really didn't know the deceased.

There are huge differences between different firms of genealogists, some will only work the easy, profitable stems of a family and sign contracts at a very low % and then hope that no one does the research on the other stems so they can pick up an extras fee for writing a report.

There is also a huge level of service difference between F&F and most of our competitors. We are luck and have a big office with the support staff to make sure heirs are kept fully up to date, smaller firms some times have to make calls from toilets have no access to there files and really are hoping that the bigger firms are doing all the real work so there clients are there to come in at a later date.

Fees are never talked about on Heir Hunters because it is in our contract, with the producers. The main reason for this is because we don't want to set a precedents, every case is different and thus the fees are very different.  I have seen fees of between 1% and 40% however they represent different cases entirely. A low fee i.e. one that is between 1 and 5% is only offered by very few firms they are the ones hoping to put in charges in at later dates for other things and usually when they are behind another firm in contacting an heir. Fees between 5% and 10% are again trying to undercut another firms fees because the firm is second of third to an heir, or if the estate is very big or the heir very close the the dec and thus the research is very easy. Standard fees are between 10% to 1/3 on English cases depending on a few factors, and up to 40% on US cases this is because the fee pays for more than just the genealogist in the states, because there legal system is a lot more complicated attorneys have to be instructed and the fee covers there cost as well. VAT is also payable (at the date the contract was signed, not when it is paid out).

Hope I have answered a few questions and remember that if you do get approached by one of us the cheapest fee is not always the best and never pay upfront.
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Nick29 on Friday 03 July 09 16:46 BST (UK)
Thanks for the frank answers, Neil.  You must have to turn over a lot of cases every week to make a profit, with the costs of staff wages for all the people in your office, and the cost of having an office in Central London, which I suppose has to be a "must" in your line of work. 
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Deb D on Saturday 04 July 09 01:47 BST (UK)
Quote from: Deb D on Thursday 02 July 09 21:57 BST (UK)
Hi, I'm wondering if I can (probably) be a pest, and ask ...

My Gt-gt-grandfather left his estate to be divided between his three children; two daughters, who never married ... and my gt-grandfather who had emigrated to Australia.  The will stated that gt-grandfather's share would be waiting for him when he returned to England ... but having married, and fathered a huge brood of children, he never did return to England.

Obviously, my question is ... what would have happened to his third share of his father's estate?  Could my late grandmother's tales of "money in Chancery" have any basis in fact?



You need to find out who was the executor of the will - you should be able to find this out from the UK Probate Office.  It's quite possible that the money is still being held by a solicitor, and this will have been attracting interest, so could well be a tidy amount.



Many thanks for this advice, ... I have a copy of the will (probate granted Feb 1896), which names all three children (including his son "on his return to England") as his Executors.  Doesn't help much, does it?

Obviously the sisters couldn't have just lived off their savings while they were waiting for their brother to return (unmarried daughters of a surgeon, they were always just provided for, and probably hadn't previously needed to have personal savings as such), so I have to assume there was some sort of arrangement made.  Any idea where I'd find any record of this, if it wasn't just in a letter from the brother?
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Nick29 on Saturday 04 July 09 11:27 BST (UK)
I hadn't realised that all this happened so long ago.  This page (http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/rdleaflet.asp?sLeafletURL=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Enationalarchives%2Egov%2Euk%2Fcatalogue%2Fleaflets%2Fri2301%2Ehtm&lBack=-1) from the National Archives should tell you all you need to know.  If the money had been held in trust by the other two children, then I suppose you could trace their successors, and see if they know anything, but I wouldn't like to make a bet on your chances of success after all this time.  If there were no successors of the other two children, the money would have gone to the state if they didn't leave it in their wills.

Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Deb D on Saturday 04 July 09 13:23 BST (UK)
Many thanks, Nick - that link looks fascinating, but I'll have to study it later when I'm not being pestered by family demands!

I have copies of the daughters' wills ... will also have to study them again, I think, - although I don't recall that there was any mention of their brother in either of them.

*Sigh!* ... bbl, thanks again :)
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Draigcoch on Monday 06 July 09 16:40 BST (UK)
I am really enjoying the new series of Heir Hunters, but they seem to have less of the interviews with the found families or maybe that is just the way it has panned out in the programmes so far.
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: lyla on Wednesday 08 July 09 10:32 BST (UK)
On this morning's program I think that they said there are currently over 3000 unclaimed estates however the bona vacantia list only has a small number of those. Is there somewhere that the full list can be viewed?

If I could find one of my family research surnames on the list I'd quite like to have a go at solving one for myself.

Lyla
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: smeni on Wednesday 08 July 09 10:48 BST (UK)
Watching this morning's programme, I wondered if the Land Registry was ever researched to see who owned a property - I know not every property is registered there, but it could be a useful way of ascertaining ownership.
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: toni* on Wednesday 08 July 09 10:49 BST (UK)
gosh heres a difficult one from the Bona Vacatia list

Rutherford late Dibble formerly Lewis formerly Williams nee Hodgins
Audrey Ann (widow)
died 18.02.09 Hailsham

Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: kooky on Wednesday 08 July 09 13:07 BST (UK)
I enjoyed this morning's programme, especially where a beneficiary did some research herself into her benefactor's life. The war service information was particularly interesting.
Kooky
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Eking on Wednesday 08 July 09 13:34 BST (UK)
On this morning's program I think that they said there are currently over 3000 unclaimed estates however the bona vacantia list only has a small number of those. Is there somewhere that the full list can be viewed?

If I could find one of my family research surnames on the list I'd quite like to have a go at solving one for myself.

Lyla

Lyla

The quick answer is no full list. A more useful and
complete answer has been provided by Fraser and Fraser on page 19 of this thread
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Nick29 on Wednesday 08 July 09 14:22 BST (UK)
If an inheritance has gone unclaimed for years, and heir hunter companies have failed to find heirs, I think it's safe to say that a genealogist is unlikley to find any, because heir hunters will have done all the paper chasing that it's possible to do.  The only way these sort of cases is likely ever be solved (if indeed there is a solution) is if someone who knew the deceased or is related to the deceased comes forward.

Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: FraserandFraser on Wednesday 08 July 09 14:56 BST (UK)
Nick,

Although that is almost certainly correct with the larger cases, the smaller ones bellow £25-30k may have never been worked, however most have.Cases bellow £10k are only very occasionally worked. There is a chance that they could be solved easily! in some cases. I know that on the back of HH we have looked at 2 cases a £30k one that was never worked and an £8k one both we found nephews or nieces inside 1 hour of research. 

The small cases just don't make financial scene for us to look at.

The bigger cases that remained unclaimed are usually because there are no legal heirs i.e. first cousins, however in a very few cases we are just missing people who may have travelled over seas or something and we just cant find them, however with more and more records being released it is possible that any could be solved.

Neil
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Mk2_Zephyr on Wednesday 08 July 09 15:11 BST (UK)
Sorry if its been covered,
but how come in a case (Roy REED ?) his sister got sfa because she had been adopted out ?

Sorry its so old, we just the first series three weeks ago down here (NZ)

 :-\
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Nick29 on Wednesday 08 July 09 15:12 BST (UK)
Nick,

Although that is almost certainly correct with the larger cases, the smaller ones bellow £25-30k may have never been worked, however most have.Cases bellow £10k are only very occasionally worked. There is a chance that they could be solved easily! in some cases. I know that on the back of HH we have looked at 2 cases a £30k one that was never worked and an £8k one both we found nephews or nieces inside 1 hour of research. 

The small cases just don't make financial scene for us to look at.

The bigger cases that remained unclaimed are usually because there are no legal heirs i.e. first cousins, however in a very few cases we are just missing people who may have travelled over seas or something and we just cant find them, however with more and more records being released it is possible that any could be solved.

Neil


Wow !  I think you may have started a scramble, Neil !  :)

Incidentally, my own inheritance claim seems to be almost at an end.  We're just waiting for the cheque.

Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Eking on Wednesday 08 July 09 15:23 BST (UK)
Sorry if its been covered,
but how come in a case (Roy REED ?) his sister got sfa because she had been adopted out ?

Sorry its so old, we just the first series three weeks ago down here (NZ)

 :-\

Because she has been adopted out. She now becomes an heir to the parents that adopted her ( I think)
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Nick29 on Wednesday 08 July 09 15:25 BST (UK)
Sorry if its been covered,
but how come in a case (Roy REED ?) his sister got sfa because she had been adopted out ?

Sorry its so old, we just the first series three weeks ago down here (NZ)

 :-\

Under British Law, when a child is legally adopted, he/she loses inheritance rights from biological parents, but gains them from the adoptees.

Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Mk2_Zephyr on Wednesday 08 July 09 15:26 BST (UK)
Suck ....

otherwise wouldn't she have got the lot ?

200,000 plus !!!
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Nick29 on Wednesday 08 July 09 15:34 BST (UK)
Must have seemed like the ultimate kick in the teeth from the parents !

Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: lyla on Wednesday 08 July 09 15:45 BST (UK)
What a pity the full list is not available. I'm sure a lot of the small inheritances that HHs are not interested in could be quickly solved by amateur geneologists like us who have interests in particular surnames. It would certainly fun to try.
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: FraserandFraser on Wednesday 08 July 09 15:56 BST (UK)
start with any that are on this series of HH they are mainly all small untouched cases I think but it is best to check first by searching for a probate.
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Mk2_Zephyr on Wednesday 08 July 09 16:03 BST (UK)
Link on page one didn't work,   ???
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Mr. MIGKY on Wednesday 08 July 09 17:24 BST (UK)
CLICK 4 BONAVCATIA SITE  (http://www.bonavacantia.gov.uk/output/)

Migky ;)
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: oldwrinkle on Thursday 09 July 09 21:16 BST (UK)
Hiya guys, I'm new to this site and found it searching about the Heir Hunter programme.  I'm not sure how much I am allowed to convey to you due to copyright laws, but on Monday 13th, I am in the programme regarding my Uncle Cullum.  I am filmed in my lounge, then in my kitchen ( chopping carrots and nearly fingers  ??? ) I was wearing a Blue striped shirt and jeans.  The whole experience was great and now I want to try and delve further into my ancestors past - so what better site to start?  I haven't managed to read all of this thread, but it appears very informative, as does the complete forum. Given time, I shall research further and, if you guys are willing, ask questions.
Thanks for reading.

Steve
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: toni* on Thursday 09 July 09 21:38 BST (UK)
Hllo Steve welcome to Rootschat feel free to ask any questions you may hve there is a beginners board

we are a friendly bunch here im sure you wil find us useful

Toni
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Arranroots on Thursday 09 July 09 22:01 BST (UK)
Hi folks

This thread has exceeded the 20 page limit and will now be locked.  Feel free to start a new one on the Lighter Side board.

A  ;)
Title: Re: "Heir Hunters"
Post by: Berlin-Bob on Friday 10 July 09 14:29 BST (UK)
Continued here:

Topic: "Heir Hunters" #2
http://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php/topic,391518.0.html