Questions
You May Have

Legacy Probate International strives to be as transparent as possible to our clients and potential clients. We recognize that our initial contact with a potential heir may unfortunately be viewed with skepticism. However, as the questions and answers below will indicate, it is part of a legitimate and necessary legal process.

Our case files come from a variety of sources, most often originated from filings by financial institutions, estate administrators or from the public record. We also accept referrals from law firms we have worked with in the past. Based on our previous work with them, they know that Legacy Probate International will resolve the heirship with integrity and precision.

Every jurisdiction has their own laws that dictate who will inherit from an estate. Based on our genealogical and investigative research, that often goes back generations, we have identified you as a potential heir to an existing estate.

In most states, the court appointed administrator is only required to publish notice for any unknown heirs to the estate, rather than performing an exhaustive search. Therefore, in a majority of our cases, the heirs do not have much (or any) knowledge of the estate itself, or even that the deceased has passed away.

Our firm only begins working on a case if it appears there are significant assets held by the estate. Also, we are assuming 100% of the risk, so if the claim is not secured, we receive no fee.

We often won’t know the exact amount you will inherit until all heirs have been identified and a full accounting of the assets in the estate is completed.

We understand that you are being told you are an heir to the estate of a relative you may have never known, and this may sound too good to be true. But it happens every day, and Legacy Probate International has advocated on behalf of thousands of rightful heirs. Our success depends on the trust of our clients and our partner attorneys. Key to earning this trust is the fact that Legacy Probate International works only on a contingency basis. We never ask you for any out-of-pocket payments. Our fee is simply a percentage of the monies you receive from the estate.

By working on a contingency fee basis, we agree to take on the research and legal expenses of proving your heirship and are confident those expenses will be covered by our fee when the estate’s assets are distributed. We will never ask for any form of out-of-pocket payment. Disreputable firms or scams ask you to pay money upfront in order to receive a larger sum of money later. If we have contacted you, we believe you are legitimately entitled to a portion of an estate. If we are mistaken, that should fall on us – not on you.

Depending on the particular case, Legacy Probate International may not always be able to disclose the name of the deceased family member until after all heirs sign the Assignment and we begin work on your behalf. This protects our proprietary information and ensures that we will be compensated for the time and cost of our endeavors.

Wherever you may call home, we likely maintain a presence nearby, with offices in Delray Beach, Florida and Salt Lake City, Utah, and associates on staff in California, Illinois and New York.

On average, estates take eighteen to twenty-four months before the inheritance is distributed. However, there are several factors that have a profound effect upon this process. For example, if an estate includes real estate, depending on the market, it could take several years to attain a reasonable price for that property. We cannot control when the real estate will sell. Some states actively pursue the money in estates with missing or unknown heirs. These states often put an unreasonable burden of proof on us, hoping we will give up and close our file. Rest assured, we will do everything in our power to overcome these obstacles and supplement our proof in every manner necessary. We maintain contact, allowing you to follow the progress of your case.

Usually taxes are paid by the estate before distribution is made and the heirs are not responsible for paying taxes, but each estate is different. Sometimes an estate makes money during the administrative process. The heirs may be responsible for paying a tax on this additional income. If a 401K or IRA is involved and the money is distributed directly to the heirs, there may be taxes to be paid. The heirs should come out ahead in this case, because the estate tax rate is usually higher than each individual’s tax bracket. Information covering all possible scenarios on this topic is vast. Simply stated, the tax is usually paid from the estate, and the heirs do not have to pay taxes on what they receive.

No, heirs cannot be held liable for debts against an estate. Any debt that is owed by the Decedent will be deducted from the estate before the final distribution.

Legacy Probate International works only on estate matters. Involvement in other pursuits would be a distraction from our efforts on behalf of the heirs who entrust us to prove their inheritance rights.

Legacy Probate International pays for everything necessary to prove that you are the rightful heir to this estate and, thus, to your inheritance. We pay an attorney to handle all filings and court proceedings on your behalf. We also pay for all documentation and records necessary to establish your relationship to the decedent. Most importantly, if something happens and this estate becomes insolvent or a Will shows up, you need not pay anything; Legacy Probate International will solely bear all of the costs incurred.

No. There are some expenses, including the estate attorney’s fees, which are paid directly from the estate. Legacy Probate International will cover the cost of proving that you are an heir to this estate and the cost of an attorney to represent your interests in this matter. Again, it is important to note that you will never have any out-of-pocket expenses during this process.

Legacy Probate International has a strict privacy policy that prevents all personal information from being disseminated in any fashion. We will not divulge your personal information, nor that of any other individual, without prior authorization from the person in question.

Legacy Probate International uses genealogical charts in the proof package that we provide to the courts in order to prove your relationship to the decedent. As we gather documentation and records, we update the family tree chart. This genealogical chart is not completed until it is time to submit it to the court. Therefore, we have established a policy whereby once you have received your inheritance check, you may then request a copy of the family tree chart.

If you are an attorney, trustee, or fiduciary for an estate with no known heirs, please contact our firm to discuss if we can be of assistance.