5 Ways Private Investigators Can Help Estate Executors

The executor or personal representative of an estate bears heavy responsibility both to the deceased person and to their heirs. Having the right people on your team will help you fulfill this responsibility in the best way possible. And one of these team members should often be a skilled private investigator. Why?

Here are five tasks a private investigator can help with. 

1. Locating Heirs 

Large families, those who have drifted apart over the years, and those with potential heirs who aren't familiar with them all benefit from a trained professional to help locate people. While you may not be particularly keen to pay out part of your loved one's estate to strangers or disliked relatives, it may be your obligation and duty.

2. Identifying Assets

Asset identification is one of the most common reasons to engage an investigator. The estate must identify, locate, and take charge of all assets for the sake of heirs and creditors. But do you know about all assets? Could there be foreign assets, business stakes, unknown real estate, or even royalties that the person didn't discuss with family? Make a thorough investigation now.

3. Verifying Claims

Creditors have the right to register claims against the estate. However, the estate also doesn't have to pay everyone who submits a claim. As the executor, your job is to verify the validity of debts and other obligations. This may involve weeding out personal or business creditors who may be taking advantage of the situation. An investigator can help you do this.

4. Avoiding Legal Challenges

Many wills and estates pass through probate with little fanfare. But others become the subject of intense family disputes or conflicts between potential stakeholders. The best way to meet these challenges is to head them off before they happen. Find documents, witnesses, and other forms of proof that the will is valid, that there was no coercion, or that no other wills exist. 

5. Finding Potential Fraud

Unfortunately, some people don't act with honesty and integrity when a person passes away. They may try to take and hide assets, claim conversations that never happened, drain accounts, or buy assets at below-market prices. Protect the estate and all the other interested parties by working with a professional to find any possible bad actors.

Where to Learn More

Could your work as an executor or personal representative be made easier, smoother, and more effective with the help of a private investigator? Find out by meeting with reputable investigators in your area today. With their aid, your burden will be less and your job less demanding.