Preliminary Procedures for Probate Research
For those of you just beginning the search for workable "unknown" and "missing heir" cases, please remember that for our purposes estate filings generally fall into one of four categories. The first involves the distinction between, 1) UNKNOWN HEIRS and, 2) MISSING HEIRS, while the second separates, 3)INTESTATE from, 4) TESTATE.
1) UNKNOWN HEIRS: These are the cases we find most interesting; estates filed with absolutely no known family members. Any such examples, combined with a workable dollar value, should be forwarded immediately to our Executive Offices.
2) MISSING HEIRS: These cases may accurately identify the family, yet the whereabouts of some members remain a mystery. It is not unusual for families to drift apart with the passing years. Again, if the value justifies searching for these "missing heirs", forward such cases to our Executive Offices.
3) INTESTATE: This term simply refers to any estate filed without a Will. If the court already lists names and addresses of close family members- such as children or a surviving spouse- we would not be interested. However, many valuable intestate cases easily fall into the "unknown" or "missing heir" category and those should be forwarded immediately to our Executive Offices.
4) TESTATE: Any estate filed with a valid Will is by definition a testate case. These are usually of little interest to us, but that is not always so. Wills must be read carefully to determine if everyone named is accounted for. If not, it is important to calculate shares due those missing legatees. If the total is sufficient to justify a search, contact our Executive Offices.
Please, if you have any questions concerning a specific probate file, or believe you
have found a case that would be of interest to us, immediately contact our
W. C. COX AND COMPANY
302 W Elm St., P.O. Box 5967, Tucson, AZ 85703-0967
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