What should one do when some of the heirs cannot be contacted? ①



How will it affect the inheritance procedures?


When one’s parents pass away, inheritance procedures are something that cannot be avoided.

In most cases, all eligible heirs must come to an agreement on how to divide up the property

to be inherited.

The deceased should have left behind a formal will of some kind. Or alternatively,

if all heirs are willing to communicate, the dividing of the inheritance should proceed smoothly.


However, there are certain cases where a part of the heirs cannot be reached,

and due to the lack of contact the inheritance procedure is hindered.


The inheritance process has a few stages, and each stage comes with a deadline.

Because the inheritance procedures are carried out while confirming the intentions of all heirs,

if some of them cannot be contacted, the entire procedure would become significantly




Is it possible to proceed with the inheritance even when it is not possible to get in contact with one or more of the heirs?



An inheritance division negotiation is where heirs gather to discuss and agree upon how to

divide the inheritance left by the deceased.


In this situation, it is not allowed to leave out one or more of the heirs and proceed with the

inheritance division discussion, simply because one has trouble making contact with them.


The inheritance division agreement could become invalid


In inheritance division negotiations, if there is a formal will, it basically takes precedence.

However, there are exceptions, such as when the contents of the will are in the following



・Only a part of the inheritance is specified in the will

・One or more of the heirs are not satisfied with the contents of the will.

In this case, all heirs must discuss how to carry out the division in detail, after which all must agree to the division of the inheritance.


Recently more and more people are drawing up a will in order to avoid disputes after they are gone.

However, if even one of the heirs is dissatisfied with the contents of the will, it would obstruct

the negotiations.


The reality of inheritance is that, even if you have prepared a will, it does not guarantee that

everything will fit together smoothly.

That is the reality of inheritance.


Here, “all heirs” includes heirs who cannot be contacted.


In other words, if the inheritance procedures had been carried out while ignore the heirs who cannot be contacted, the agreement surrounding that inheritance would be deemed invalid.


Even if only a part of the heirs reaches an agreement, when the heir who could not be

contacted later appears and claims his or her right, all procedures must be done over from the


There is no deadline for an inheritance division consultation, so nothing can formally stop it

from being redone as many times as needed.


Needless to say, protraction of inheritance negotiations would just increase and prolong the

burden on all heirs.


Once the contents of the inheritance division have been settled through the negotiations, it is

necessary to prepare the inheritance division document which records the contents agreed

upon. Here also, the signatures and seals of all heirs are required, and it is not possible to

exclude those who cannot be contacted.


Without this officially documented agreement, it is not possible to change the name of the

property of the deceased, nor ‘ manage the deposits and savings.


One can say without exaggeration that this inheritance division agreement document is the

cornerstone of the inheritance procedure.

It is strongly recommended to avoid letting thus agreement become invalidated




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