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Abel associates

(7 Posts)
Kafri Tue 07-Jul-15 05:47:40

Not sure if this is the right place for this....

My brother received a letter from a company called Abel Associates saying that they had identified him as a beneficiary of a will. It names the deceased and their supposed relation to him and asked him for information of any siblings. He has provided information for myself and my brother. The have now written to me and want me to sign to say I'm me and happy to pay them their percentage should we receive any money from this will.

I know there are a lot of scams of this kind so how do I tell? My brother has looked into it and says he believes it to be legit but I'm not so quick to trust??

ChablisLover Tue 07-Jul-15 06:12:53

Scam scam scam

I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole

Why would you be beneficiaries of a will of a person you haven't heard of before? And why would you let your brother give them your details??

Google them and do not send any letter back.

BikeRunSki Tue 07-Jul-15 06:29:35

is it a scam do you think?

There are companies that trace distant relatives of people who die with no obvious beneficiaries to their will. There was a BBC program about them "Heir Hunters", which ran for several series. I think Able Associates was one of the companies try followed. It could be genuine.

Have you got any older relatives to ask about whether the person who has died is real?

downgraded Tue 07-Jul-15 06:34:29

A quick Google makes it look legit.

The website does say the fee is negotiable though, so bear this in mind.

I would proceed with caution.

titchy Tue 07-Jul-15 07:59:15

It's legit. When someone dies without a will the estate has to be distributed in a certain way. If the deceased had no surviving close relations, children, siblings, nieces or nephews who would otherwise assume responsibility for the estate, the Treasury takes it on and publishes lists which probate research firms use to trace any more distant relations, cousins typically. Those firms then act on behalf of any beneficiary they trace. If you know the name of the deceased you can check their listing on the bona vacantia list

BikeRunSki Tue 07-Jul-15 10:20:41

titchy has said what I was trying to say, but far better. She sounds like she has actual experience and legal knowledge, whereas I just watch TV.

Kafri Tue 07-Jul-15 20:25:27

Thanks for the replies folks.

To answer some questions

I didn't know he had passed on my details until after he had done so - too late to stop him by then.

There are many cousins of my parents and grandparents that I don't have any clue about. My grandparents died when I was very young and we then moved away. My parents are also no longer here now so can't even ask them about other family members.

I know that there are legit companies out there who do indeed trace beneficiaries but I just don't know how to tell the legit ones.
It's not obviously fake if that makes sense - for example the Internet is full of examples of poorly written emails from silly email addresses or countries. I just don't want to get caught up in a scam!!

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