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To think Heir Hunters (BBC1 now) is a bit ambulance chasery?

(82 Posts)
Sparklingbrook Tue 23-Apr-13 09:42:35

It's nothing to do wioth finding 'rightful heirs, and everything to do with commission for Fraser and Fraser. confused

Sparklingbrook Tue 23-Apr-13 09:43:21

Disclaimer-I have just been for a 3 mile walk and I am recooperating on the sofa. wink

CheeseStrawWars Tue 23-Apr-13 09:46:18

I thought there was an elapsed period of time between the person dying, no heir coming forward, and that company being given the job of chasing it up. They're not going to do it for free, and if they didn't, someone else would. Or are you saying the money should go straight to the government instead of attempting to find heirs?

CheeseStrawWars Tue 23-Apr-13 09:47:18

Disclaimer - I've only watched the programme a couple of times, so may have got that completely arse about face.

Sparklingbrook Tue 23-Apr-13 09:48:23

No, I know what you mean Cheese, and it's great if the money is reunited with the heir. Even if in most cases they had no idea and had never met the person.

I think one phone call the guy made annoyed me he was ringing round neighbours of the deceased and acting very concerned which I thought was a bit. hmm

Sparklingbrook Tue 23-Apr-13 09:49:37

I haven't watched many honest. It's this or The Wright Stuff/Jeremy Kyle. grin

Sparklingbrook Tue 23-Apr-13 09:51:40

Oh and the bit where they try and get their before 'the competition' is very hmm.

PaddingtonBearsDuffleCoat Tue 23-Apr-13 09:54:54

I have watched this a few times and found it profoundly distasteful. The firms compete with each other to get relatives signed up to their company. Yes they are there to make money but it is their attitude that bugs me I found their employees took a patronising attitude towards relatives, making out they are doing them a favour by helping them. Once the relatives are aware of their relationship with the deceased then they could claim the money without the help of these companies, I wonder if any of them do that?

CheeseStrawWars Tue 23-Apr-13 09:56:48

Oh, if it's hand-wringing and OTT sadfacing then that's a bit uncalled for. Emotional voyeurism, grief by proxy, whatever, it's so fake...

Sparklingbrook Tue 23-Apr-13 09:57:00

Yes, Paddington, there's something about it that doesn't sit right.

Sparklingbrook Tue 23-Apr-13 09:58:04

I do wonder if the company have ever made a balls up and given the money to the wrong person......

UnChartered Tue 23-Apr-13 09:58:09

and the poignant piano-ing hmm

CheeseStrawWars Tue 23-Apr-13 09:58:12

I didn't know they "competed" - I thought they were appointed and it was all official-like. Sounds a bit like the PPI reclaiming stuff then. Well, there we go, I've learned something.

Sparklingbrook Tue 23-Apr-13 09:59:45

Noo Cheese the Treasury list of unclaimed estates is issued and then it's open season for who can get there first. sad

Oh good it's finished.

YY to the sad plinky plonking UnChartered, adds to the hmm ness.

annh Tue 23-Apr-13 10:07:34

Does anyone know what happens if an heir-hunter turns up and you say no thanks? Can you then approach the Treasury yourself and claim the money or could they still claim a percentage for alerting you to the fact that the inheritance exists? Always wondered about that.

UnChartered Tue 23-Apr-13 10:08:55

i always imagine those 'heir hunting' companies to be <ahem> in the same offices as DCA.. but i wouldn't ever like to say that out loud

yes, they reckon the Treasury rakes in £10million + a year from unclaimed estates, but is the 25% commission enough to keep 'Fraser and Fraser' and the others afloat? all the agents they send out in their lovely cars, at the drop of a hat.. hmm indeed

SisterMonicaJoan Tue 23-Apr-13 10:09:09

The companies don't tell the relatives of the deceased the deceased name - they just go through family links and if you don't know much about your family history or family names then you don't know who to look for on the Treasury list sad

My mum was approached by ones of these companies and she didn't have a clue who this relative was or where they fit in her family. After all sorts of "admin" charges were taken off, she wasn't left with much.

I agree that I'd rather the money goes to family, however distance, than into the Treasury's coffers but these heir finding companies so come across as rather grabby. The programme is always commenting the size of the commission for the company!

SisterMonicaJoan Tue 23-Apr-13 10:11:05

*Even after she received the "inheritance" and all the paperwork she still didn't know who this relative was..

Sparklingbrook Tue 23-Apr-13 10:12:02

Yes Sister the programme don't hide the grabby part at all do they? I feel sorry for the neighbours that get interrogated just so F&F can find who they want. Nowt in it for the neighbour at all. I would charge F&F for my time. grin

ArbitraryUsername Tue 23-Apr-13 10:12:12

I assume you'd need to be able to provide the proof that you are the rightful heir that the company have found and would otherwise supply. I guess the genealogical leg-work is what the commission is for. That and actually knowing how to claim.

I can't see how they could still charge commission if you went ahead and did it all yourself. But you'd have to dig out all the old records and show that you were entitled to the money yourself.

ArbitraryUsername Tue 23-Apr-13 10:12:56

Ah. If you don't know the name, it would be even more work.

Sparklingbrook Tue 23-Apr-13 10:13:04

I wonder how many people do say 'no ta, I have never met said relative'. Or 'give it to charity'?

badguider Tue 23-Apr-13 10:13:35

Yeh the whole "rightful heir" thing pisses me right off when it's a second cousin twice removed who'd never heard of the deceased.
I'd much rather the money DID go to the treasurary to be spent in education or healthcare.

Sparklingbrook Tue 23-Apr-13 10:15:15

What it does highlight though is that folk should make a will.

SisterMonicaJoan Tue 23-Apr-13 10:16:56

I would love to see that Sparkling!!! Imagine the F&F agent's face "er, what about my commission, I've driven all the way from London" grin

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