We are working remotely and all of us continue to be available by telephone or email. In alignment with national, state and local initiatives as it relates to the coronavirus, we remain open for business and have changed the way we are working for the health and well-being of our employees, and you, our valued clients and colleagues. Read more

Mason & Helmers
We Welcome Your Call
  • Phone 651-323-2548
  • Toll Free 877-389-5533

What happens if an heir cannot be found?

Minnesota residents who are involved in the probate portion of a loved one's estate understand how complicated the distribution portion can be. Occasionally an heir is mentioned in an estate but they cannot be found. There are steps that can be taken when this situation arises.

When an heir cannot be found, an estate executor may need to contact a search firm to try and find the heir. If the estate is ready to make a distribution then an executor can ask the court to make a preliminary distribution to the heirs that can be located. An executor can also arrange to distribute the share of the person who cannot be located to a contingent beneficiary or the state where the money will be held until it is claimed. Once this money is released, the estate can be closed.

Having a missing heir in an estate can lead to delays and extra cost in the probate process. A legal professional who specializes in probate disputes has experience in these situations where there are complications. An attorney understands how frustrating this can be for heirs who are expecting their share of an estate. They can work hard to help resolve this situation in as short amount of time as possible while making sure their client's best interests are being protected.

Often an estate can run into probate disputes and other complications. In these situations it is important to have an attorney who has experience navigating the intricacies of the probate process. Unfortunately not all estate in probate go smoothly and in these situations, having an experienced attorney can be a good idea.

Source:, "The case of the missing heir", Liza Horvath, Sept. 2, 2017

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

For Assistance with Estate Disputes & Other Matters, Contact Us

To learn more about the firm and how we can assist you,
contact Mason & Helmers in St. Paul, Minnesota. Call 651-323-2548 or 877-389-5533 (toll free) to set up an appointment.

*AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer review
rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ fall into two categories — legal ability and general ethical standards.

Contact Our Attorneys

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Email Us For A Response
Mason & Helmers

Mason & Helmers
332 Minnesota Street
Suite W-3070
St. Paul, MN 55101

Toll Free: 877-389-5533
Phone: 651-323-2548
St. Paul Law Office Map