In January 2012, real estate developer and Holocaust survivor Roman Blum passed away. Mr. Blum had no wife or children when he died, leaving behind a multi-million-dollar estate. Four years later, a Polish man believing himself to be Blum’s nephew came forward attempting to claim the late millionaires fortune. The lack of an estate plan and absence of heirs has led to other parties coming forward attempting to claim a share of the estate. The story of Roman Blum shows why you need to look for missing heirs after a loved one has passed away.

Reduces Probate Issues

The probate process is tedious, especially if a person passes away with no estate plan. If there are heirs missing, things could become even more complicated and time consuming. When other beneficiaries or the estate administrator is aware that some heirs may be missing, then the estate must make an effort to find those heirs. Failing to do so could leave the estate in limbo while the heirs who are present either struggle to find the lost heirs or battle with the probate court to receive at least part of their inheritance.

Makes Selling Property Easier

Inheriting real estate often leads to unforeseen complications. Transferring the property into the names of the new owners, dealing with property damage, and paying for the upkeep of the house is all potentially problematic. Unfortunately, dealing with property becomes even harder if you want to sell but cannot do so because an heir is missing. It is possible to sell your interest in the property, but few buyers are interested in buying only half of a home, especially if there is a possibility that a missing heir will appear at a later date to reclaim their inheritance at the expense of the buyer.

Avoids Future Conflict

Imagine if you spent years traveling or volunteering away from home with little contact with relatives that you barely associated with. Then imagine returning home to find that your nearest relative has passed away, their property is missing or sold, and you were legally entitled to some of their assets. This scenario occurs more often than many realize and it can lead to serious conflicts. Family members or dispossessed heirs may attempt to recover their inheritance by taking other heirs or the estate administrator to court causing an expensive and time consuming legal battle.

Search for Heirs with Help

The best way to avoid a legal nightmare caused by heirs going missing is by contacting a probate attorney who is able to provide you with the advice you need. An attorney can aid you in searching for the missing heirs and help you move forward if no heirs can be found after a reasonable effort is made. The compassionate attorneys at MMZ Law realize that losing a loved one is difficult especially when their questions surrounding their estate. Our lawyers are here to answer your questions and support you during this difficult time. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation at our conveniently located Claremont, California office so that we can begin discussing your needs.




341 W. 1st St. Suite 100
Claremont, CA 91711

MARIVEL M. ZIALCITA is the founder of MMZ LAW, A Professional Corporation, where she practices in the areas of Elder Law – Medi-Cal Planning Asset Protection, Trust & Estate, Special Needs, Conservatorship, Trust Administration, & Probate. Ms. Zialcita is a frequent speaker on trust and estate matters and holds memberships in the State Bar of California, Trust and Estate Section, The San Bernardino County Bar Association, Wealth Counsel and Elder Counsel. She currently assists in the pro bono legal services program at the James L. Brulte Senior Center in Rancho Cucamonga, California. She is based in Claremont but assists clients throughout Southern California.

This information is educational information only and not legal advice.