We worked on a very interesting case that originated in Dallas. A very wealthy couple died testate. They had no children. Their wills were basically identical. They each left their entire estate to the survivor of the two. When the second person died, his or her estate was to be evenly divided between the heirs of both of them.
The husband died first. Several years later the wife died and the contingent beneficiary specifications were activated. The estate attorney had information on all of the legatees with the exception of one on the wife's side of the family. This individual was entitled to inherit one million dollars. Of all things, his name was John Kennedy. This is not only a very famous name, it is also a very common name.
We conducted our research and ended up determining that our subject was in the US Navy and was a frogman stationed in the Philippines. After several attempts to locate our missing heir, we were finally able to get in touch with him. We told him that his aunt in Dallas had passed away. He responded by saying, "You've got the wrong guy." However, he was "the right guy". The decedent was his father's sister. His parents divorced when he was very young. He had no contact with his father's family and so, he never knew that his aunt existed!
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