About

Our company specializes in international probate genealogy. We assist executors, lawyers, and trust officers in locating missing beneficiaries to estates. Our work involves locating heirs named in wills whose whereabouts are unknown, as well as determining the heirs to intestate estates.

What is probate genealogy?

Probate research is the process of determining and locating missing or unidentified beneficiaries to estates. If an individual named as an heir in a Will cannot be found, we work to find them.

When a person dies intestate, meaning without having written a legally acceptable Will, probate laws will govern who inherits their estate. Our task then consists of tracing all individuals who are entitled to a share of the estate. This involves carefully researching the decedent’s family history to enable us to identify their closest eligible blood relations.

All this relies upon detailed genealogical research, and a thorough understanding of laws of intestate succession, which differ by jurisdiction. After an eligible next-of-kin as been identified, we set about locating them.

Once the potential beneficiary has been located, we establish contact with them, inform them of their inheritance, and work with them through the process of proving their entitlement as heir.


In the early 1980s, Terence D. Howes and his son Tim began researching Canadian gold mining companies incorporated in the 1920s. The shares of these companies had become worthless due to the stock market crash of 1929 and the Great Depression of the 1930s, which followed. They discovered that decades after the markets recovered, a number of these companies had become extremely valuable.

Through diligent investigation, Terence and Tim uncovered the names and addresses of the original shareholders. In most cases, these individuals had died, and thus their rightful heir had to be identified and located. Several million dollars were subsequently distributed to long-lost shareholders or their heirs. This work was the inspiration for their subsequent careers as a probate genealogist.

In 1983, Tim established T.D. Howes & Co. Ltd. Working with the skillset he had acquired during his research into missing shareholders and their rightful heirs, Tim established a business to unite heirs with unknown inheritances, and assist legal professionals with locating and proving entitlement of missing heirs.

For close to 40 years our company has helped countless people claim funds they would not have otherwise known about. We are proud to have enriched many people, assisted them in learning previously unknown family history, and, when requested, connected them with long-lost relatives.

T.D. Howes & Co Ltd. is a member in good standing of the Better Business Bureau


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