Imagine getting a surprise phone call from someone who tells you that you’re the heir to a massive fortune. It would change your life, right?
Today I’d like to introduce our readers to Chloe Lamb and the company she works for, Perane & Co., based in the UK. Chloe has been kind enough to explain how Perane & Co uses genealogy to track down living descendants who are entitled to an inheritance of which they have no knowledge.
An Unknown Inheritance
GOS: Hi, Chloe of Perane & Co! Welcome to Generations of Stories! Please tell us about yourself and what your company does. How did you get started in this line of work?
CL: I had always had an interest in genealogy, but it was when I started watching the TV programme Heir Hunters that my eyes were truly opened. The industry of heir hunting as a whole appealed to me as it has a two-prong set of values. On the one hand its commercial potential to earn money, and on the other its ability to help people claim what is rightfully theirs.
To this day, it is this customer-centric ethos which drives our company. Ultimately, we believe people deserve to claim the money they are entitled to, and will do everything in our power to reunite them with it.
GOS: How does Perane & Co locate living heirs?
From there, we use a variety of sources such as Ancestry and social media to locate the rightful beneficiaries related to the owner of the estate.
GOS: What is the verification process?
CL: We ask potential beneficiaries to verify details of particular family members and also provide a piece of valid identification (such as a passport or driving license.) We are also required to purchase birth, death or marriage certificates as part of the verification process.
GOS: How do you contact the heirs?
CL: We will initially send the potential beneficiary a letter informing them that they may be entitled to some inheritance. We believe in a face to face service to build trust, so from there we will arrange a meeting to explain the process in more detail and give the beneficiary the opportunity to sign the relevant paperwork.
GOS: Have you ever found anyone who hasn’t been interested in receiving their inheritance?
CL: There are always a few people who are not interested in receiving their entitled money. We have had certain incredibly benevolent clients who have chosen to donate their inheritance to a charitable foundation instead – it’s very inspiring!
GOS: Wow! That is inspiring! And generous as well! Do you contact clients around the world? If so, what’s the most unusual place you’ve found someone?
CL: Although most of our clients are UK based, we have contacted beneficiaries from around the world including the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand! The most unusual place we have found a beneficiary has to be Vancouver Island, an island located in British Columbia off the coast of Canada.
GOS: I love Vancouver! I lived in Seattle a long time ago. It was only a couple hours drive away. Both cities are just beautiful.
So what happens when you run into roadblocks when you’re trying to locate heirs?
CL: If we hit a brick wall in our client family tree, it is very much like the process of researching your own family tree – all we have to do is try a different branch! This process allows us to uncover a potential new beneficiary.
GOS: Has there ever been a situation where there aren’t any heirs? If so, what happened to the inheritance?
CL: We always try our best to find an heir to an estate, even if it means that we have to pursue a different line of the family tree. However, sometimes, it can be impossible for us to locate heirs to an estate. If this happens, the money from the unclaimed estate goes to the crown after a period of 30 years from the owners’ death.
GOS: What’s the most interesting case you’ve worked on?
CL: It’s hard to pick just one – there are so many! One of the more gruesome cases we have come across was the estate of a child murderer in Leicester. Fathered by a 65 year-old police officer, he was in is twenties and working at a Sunday school (an unusual candidate for murder) when he murdered a 9 year old boy. Despite his young age, he ended up spending the rest of his life in prison. Contacting the beneficiaries to this estate was certainly an interesting task!
GOS: To clarify– he wasn’t a beneficiary, right?
CL: No, he was the owner of the account that we had to find beneficiaries for. He wasn’t alive as he had to be deceased in order for his estate to go on the BV list of unclaimed accounts and for us to find the beneficiaries. We found three beneficiaries to his estate, one who was his half-sister.
GOS: That must have been quite a case! Thank you so much for sharing this information with us, Chloe! We look forward to more interesting stories from you in the future!
Perane & Co are professional, dedicated genealogy researchers who find people entitled to unclaimed money and inheritance.
When someone dies without a will, also known as ‘intestate’, the law takes charge of deciding who will inherit that estate. The problem with this system is that thousands of people who are entitled don’t realise they are owed money from a family inheritance.
We offer a solution by tracing, researching and releasing a portion of the estimated 13,500 unclaimed inheritances to individuals and families who are entitled.