Daniel Curran, Finders International: Hunting Heirs to Unclaimed Estates - The Rugby Observer

Daniel Curran, Finders International: Hunting Heirs to Unclaimed Estates

Rugby Editorial 2nd Jun, 2023 Updated: 8th Jun, 2023   0

As of May 2023, there are over 6,500 unclaimed estates in the UK with combined assets of over £77 million*

The most common reason for an estate to go unclaimed is that the deceased person died without a will. If there is no will, the estate is distributed according to the rules of intestacy. This can be a complex process, and it can be difficult to find all of the heirs.

While managing the affairs of a deceased individual is typically a once or twice in a lifetime event for most of us, entrepreneur Daniel Curran handles such tasks daily.

Daniel Curran, Finders International MD and founder, is responsible for identifying rightful heirs to unclaimed estates, which often occur when an individual dies without a will or immediate family to inherit.




When did it all start?

During the 1990s, if you frequented London’s King’s Cross area, you may have spotted Danny Curran. He would wait until midnight for the next day’s newspapers to arrive and peruse the obituaries of individuals who passed away without leaving a will or identifying heirs, hoping to uncover his next lead.


Although things have since changed, Curran now leading a business with a multi-million pound turnover and over 150 personnel, his zest for heir hunting remains – drawn to the stories and the positive outcomes.

“It’s always meant a lot to me that we ultimately help people, even though delivering the message of a relative’s death is often a bittersweet moment.” says Daniel Curran, MD Finders International

Recruiting skilled individuals for the job

Recruiting employees for heir hunting can be a challenge, but when Danny Curran finds the right match, they tend to remain with the company for a significant period, with some exceeding 20 years. This, according to Danny, reflects the organisation’s culture and the work they accomplish.

For many businesses, expanding their team can be a make-or-break moment, and timing is often crucial. When the BBC showcased Curran’s business, it provided national exposure and greater commercial prospects. However, it also highlighted the need to safeguard the company’s reputation.

Success and job satisfaction

Daniel Curran noticed opportunities for expansion after his firm became a main firm on BBC One’s daytime TV show, Heir Hunters. However, the coverage brought attention to scams within the profession, leading him to establish the industry’s first international regulatory body, the ‘International Association of Professional Probate Researchers’ (IAPPR) which provides necessary guidance and codes of conduct. Danny also discusses ‘How to protect yourself against probate research scammers’ in this recent post.

According to Mr Curran, leaders in any industry have both moments of inspiration and less inspired periods, and the heir hunting sector is no exception.

Winners of ‘Best UK Probate Research Firm 2023’, Finders International trace beneficiaries to unclaimed estates worldwide using a variety of methods, including online research, public records, and interviews with family and friends

“ I am fortunate to lead a company that balances a niche industry with strong competition while still keeping the services accessible to clients and beneficiaries. It’s important to remember who your audience is and how to relate to them.” Danny continues.

Finders previously worked on a case that spanned seven years, tracing the family of a man born in war-torn Poland in the 1930s who had recently died in the UK.

Due to border and political changes, researching in such areas was an arduous and slow process. However, they eventually succeeded in finding the beneficiary, who was the deceased’s elderly sister. She had last seen her brother in the 1940s and learned about his happy life, but also received the bittersweet news of his passing.

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