Ruben Nicolai stumbled into last night the heir on a tragic family history of Antoinette Hek, who died in 2014. The woman left an inheritance of a total of 675,000 euros, but only after an extensive search could heirs be found. Including a special one: a 103-year-old cousin, who is entitled to 168,750 euros.
The last episode of the season of the RTL 4 ratings hit took the viewer to France, where Antoinette Willemina Hek lived. She passed away in 2014 at the age of 98. Because of her country of residence, the inheritance is divided according to French law, which means that the inheritance is divided between father and mother. However, only family members who were still alive on the date of the testator’s death may claim the inheritance.
Hek had no children and her five brothers had died young and childless – three of them by drowning, on the same black day in 1942. Presenter Nicolai and heir researcher Klaas Zondervan discovered through the family tree of Antoinette’s father two more nieces who were alive after 2014 : the 103-year-old nun Theodora Josephina and Margaretha, who died in 2019, who had two children. Nicolai wanted to meet Theodora, who is entitled to 168,750 euros, but that would have too much of an impact on the elderly woman. She gets the message through another niece.
Then Nicolai went to visit the children of Margeretha, also a niece of Antoinette. Because she passed away in 2019, after the death of Antoinette, her children Lambertus and Wilhelmina are also heirs. They have never known their distant relative, but are entitled to an inheritance of 84,375 euros. ,,Incredible. I didn’t expect that,” Lambertus responds. “Well, that’s very nice,” says Wilhelmina. “I think it’s very special. I never expected this.”
Nicolai and Zondervan came across Ans and Henk on their mother’s side. Ans’s father is a full cousin. In the 80s and 90s she and Henk regularly went on holiday with Antoinette in France. They shared photos of ‘their’ aunt and told her life story, with the tragic death of her brothers and the loss of an unborn child in an accident. No matter how fondly they spoke about ‘Aunt Netta’, it seemed that they have no right to the inheritance: Ans’ father probably died before 2014.
In the heir Ruben Nicolai, together with heir researcher Klaas Zondervan, traces heirs of deceased people whose estate has never been able to be paid out and has therefore been parked at the Ministry of Finance. There is about 100 million euros in unclaimed assets with the government. Yesterday 1.1 million people watched the search, which is good for fourth place on the list of most watched programs.
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