asset recovery process
Discovery Phase: When a valuable unclaimed asset is discovered, generally our first task is to then ascertain who are the legal owners of the asset or who has a legal claim to the asset. Unclaimed assets can be as old as twenty years or more having been dormant, abandoned or the legal owners have not been identified or are missing. The original owner may be deceased or lost through marriage or divorce.
Identification and Search Phase: We begin our identification and search phase to identify potential heirs and beneficiaries and establish appropriate family connections. Once identified, we work to locate heirs and beneficiaries through our investigative work. This can be the most time-consuming and costly phase and require weeks or months of work. We take pride in being very thorough as we strive to identify all heirs and beneficiaries and establish their legal family connections.
Contact Phase: Once we have identified and located heirs and beneficiaries, we will try reach them by telephone to inform them of our purpose in making contact. We, then, follow-up by mailing an engagement letter describing our services. If you have received an engagement letter from us, it is because we have done in-depth research into the unclaimed asset to which we believe that you are entitled.
Claim Phase: Once The Shepherd Company has a commitment to work together with an heir or beneficiary through an Assignment Agreement, the claim process begins. This process may take many months to complete, but we believe that the process can be greatly expedited by employing the services of an experienced attorney in the area where the asset is located. In most cases, we offer to pay all fees for an independent attorney that is referred to the claimant (the heir/beneficiary making the asset claim) for non-litigation matters involved in the claim process. There are no out-of-pocket expenses for the claimant, unless they choose an alternate attorney. As part of the claim process, we research and provide the claimant’s attorney with information and documentation necessary to present a claim. Each claim may be different in terms of documentation required and hours to complete. We work very hard to establish legal connections and provide documentation and detailed family information, so that those who are managing the asset will respond promptly and distribute assets to their rightful owners without delay. Once documentation is delivered to the asset manager, we maintain close contact and respond promptly to any requests for additional information and documentation. Occasionally, a hearing will be requested by the asset manager in which we may be called upon to explain evidence.
Distribution Phase: As soon as the claim process has been completed, a planned distribution of proceeds has been approved and recovery of an asset has been secured, the claimant’s proceeds will be securely delivered to the claimant’s attorney and then distributed to the claimant.