Steps To Becoming an Heir Finder or Asset Tracker
What Is An Asset Tracker?
An Heir Finder or Asset Tracker is a person who charges you a fee to help locate your unclaimed property. Asset trackers usually have a list of people who have properties due to them, they locate the person and inform them that they have unclaimed properties that they can help them locate. Asset Trackers then usually ask for a finder's fee, usually 6 to 8 percent of the amount of the property located.
What is Required of All Asset Trackers or Heir Finders
Asset Trackers have to post of performance bond of $10, 000 (may vary by state), as security to their State Treasurer's Office to insure them against mistaken or fraudulent claims which may come about as a result as a part of their business activities as asset trackers.
Each state is different, but in some states, you are required to file a copy of the agreement you make with your skip-tracing client or the beneficiary of the unclaimed property with the state treasury department.
Although, you need no special licensing, you are required to be a legitimate business, that has registered as a business in your state.
Who Hires Asset Trackers?
According to the Heir Hunter's Association, asset trackers may get their business from the following sources:
- Individuals who are tracing relatives who cannot be found by any other source including the police. Finding these relatives could be just for personal reasons.
- An administrator or executor of a deceased person's estate looking for the actual beneficiaries to give out monies and property to.
- Lawyers and Insurance companies who wish to trace beneficiaries who cannot be found through traditional means.
- Someone needing heir tracked by 3 or 4 generations.
- Someone who wants to find beneficiaries or heir or even relatives of the heirs.
How Much Money Can I make As An Asset Tracker
That all depends on you and how many clients you take on. Needless to say, the more the amount of the unclaimed property the greater your earnings since you work on commission as an Asset Tracker. There are associations you can join, such as, the Heir Hunter's Association, that may be able to help you find clients, generally, you will have to go out and find clients yourself.
You, as an Asset Tracker do have competition since many people who have unclaimed money or property can go on their state treasury's website and search for their unclaimed property simply by inputting their name, social security and or date of birth in the fields provided.
However, your services will always be in demand especially from executors who are looking for beneficiary of very large million dollar estates. Asset Trackers could easily be making over $100, 000 annually depending on their client base. For example, if you are searching for the beneficiary of an insurance policy worth over $100, 000 or even more, you could be looking at thousands of dollars for working that one case.
What About Those Advertising Offering Asset Tracker Business
Never pay to become an Asset Tracker. Usually, those companies selling bulk names of people on the unclaimed property list sell the same names to thousands of people. The lists are usually out-dated and in some cases inaccurate. Companies charging you for these names or a set up package will charge anywhere from $39.99 to well over $100 which may sound cheap but considering they are usually selling the same names over and over again, it results in a bad deal for you. You may even upset people by calling them since they may have already been contacted by other "skip-tracers."
The best way to be fruitful as an Asset Tracer is to get your own clients. You should think of yourself as a private investigator for executors.
The Heir Hunter by Chris Larsgaard, is a fictional book about one man's experience in the industusty. It is not a real story, but those who are interested in doing this a a business may find it interesting. You can get "The Heir Hunter", from Amazon.Credit: Amazon.com
References and Resources
Heir Hunter's Association