Have you been contacted by Research America?
We understand that missing heirs have questions about our services. It seems a little too good to be true that we would be contacting you about collecting an inheritance.
About our heir search services
We are pleased to provide answers to the most frequently asked questions about our company and our research/recovery services. We trust that this will give you confidence in our integrity and our ability to assist you in this important matter.
If you have been contacted as a result of an independent search and Research America is asking you to enter into a contingent fee agreement for a percentage of a possible inheritance, we ask that you give our offer every possible consideration.
Independent heir searches result in the completion of all work required to prove your interest and in order to collect any inheritance that is due you. The fact that we are asking for a percentage of a possible inheritance and that we will not earn a fee unless you receive an inheritance should be your assurance that this matter is legitimate. We strive to provide our clients with the best service possible.
Missing Heirs Frequently Asked Questions
- What is Probate Research?
- Probate researchers like Research America trace people who are entitled to a share in an estate. When an estate is filed with a Probate Court, we work to locate missing heirs, and we research family history to identify and locate unknown heirs. Research America understands that virtually every client has questions about our services. We trust that our answers below will give you confidence in our integrity and our ability to assist you in this important matter.
- Why have I been contacted now?
- An estate has been filed with some or all of the proper heirs unknown. This is a surprisingly frequent occurrence. Research America’s research into the history of the estate family has identified you as an heir.
- How do I know this is legitimate?
- Our proposal is absolutely legitimate. For twenty years, our business has been to locate named heirs and research family history for unknown heirs. Unlike unprincipled companies that demand money up-front from unwary clients, we are never paid a penny until our clients recover assets.
- Why can't you tell me all the details of the estate?
- Generally, we refrain from revealing details about the estate until all heirs have signed an agreement with us. Over the years, we have found that this helps to protect our firm's investment in researching and locating the heirs. If we provide all the details, a certain number of people will disregard our notifying them of this matter, utilizing the information to try to circumvent the reasonable fee we have earned for our services, if successful.
- How did Research America learn of this estate?
- Estates are referred to us through Probate Court judges, lawyers, bank administrators, and our international network of researchers and associates.
- What will this cost me?
- Until and unless you actually receive assets from the estate, you will owe nothing. When the court distributes the estate, you owe Research America the percentage on the Assignment and Agreement you signed with us. We utilize our percentage to pay all expenses, including our attorney fees, in proving your claim and recovering your rightful share.
- What about taxes?
- Taxes are not an issue. No income tax is charged on inheritance; and the court deducts inheritance taxes before distributing the estate.
- What about the estate debt?
- You have no liability in that area. The Court pays estate debt before distribution. If debts exceed assets, the estate is declared insolvent. In that case, you would receive no assets, but you would never bear any liability.
- If, for any reason, I never receive these assets, what will I owe Research America?
- Absolutely nothing. Research America is paid only if you receive assets from the estate. Our clients are never asked to pay any fee in advance. If you receive no assets, you pay nothing. Research America absorbs all the expenses in your case.
- When will I receive these assets?
- The answer depends, in large part, on where the estate has been filed. Court schedules and statutory time requirements vary from one jurisdiction to another. In most cases, distribution is made within 12-18 months. In larger jurisdictions, however, it may take longer.
- Who determines my share?
- The court determines your share based on your relationship to the decedent, the total number of claimants, and the laws of Descent and Distribution of the state or foreign country where the case is being heard.
- What if I do nothing?
- If you do nothing, the shares of the estate which may be rightfully yours could be turned over to the state as escheated funds, or those unclaimed shares may be distributed to the heirs who are known to the court.
- What should I do next?
- If you have further questions, please complete our contact us form. If you would prefer, please call us toll-free at 866-538-0546 and our courteous staff will answer your questions.