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Skilled Genealogical Research Disproves Findings of “Heir Hunters”

By Von Langen, LLC |

The heir hunting industry has a somewhat checkered reputation. Some heir locators will resort to unethical behavior in order to profit off estates with unknown beneficiaries. Some fabricate familial relationships in order to claim a percentage of the purported heir’s inheritance. Others will coerce legitimate heirs into signing contracts with the heir hunting service,… Read More »

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Genealogical History Reveals the True Heir Through the Family’s Journey to the US

By Von Langen, LLC |

History can become even more compelling when viewed through the frame of one family’s journey, which eventually led us to the truth (despite an heir hunter’s efforts to deceive). When the true heir proved to be uncooperative with an heir hunter, the heir hunter contracted with other “heirs” and filed claims against the estate…. Read More »

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Basic Roles of Guardians and Conservators, and How a Forensic Genealogist Can Help

By Von Langen, LLC |

As more and more people are living longer, diseases such as Alzheimer’s have become increasingly common. When an elderly person suffers from Alzheimer’s or a related disease and loses the ability to take care of themselves or manage their affairs, local courts may appoint a guardian or conservator (or in some states, one of… Read More »

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What are Important Questions to Ask when Settling a Trust?

By Von Langen, LLC |

After a relative or loved one passes away, there are many important tasks that will require your attention in the wake of their death. If your loved one had placed their assets in a revocable living trust and named you as the successor trustee, then you’ll need to devote time and attention to settling… Read More »

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Suits to Quiet Title Explained

By Von Langen, LLC |

When you’re planning to sell a piece of property, you need to be able to confirm that you own the property free and clear. If some financial institution or individual has a legal claim to owning part or all of the property you’re planning to sell, this is known as a cloud or encumbrance… Read More »

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What are Mineral Rights, and What Does It Mean to Inherit Them?

By Von Langen, LLC |

Finding out that you may be the heir to mineral rights is confusing for many people. What are “mineral rights,” anyhow? Are they real? Are they valuable? How did I inherit them? Find answers to these questions below, and contact a knowledgeable and experienced estate investigator for help establishing ownership of oil, gas and… Read More »

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Ethical Duties of Forensic Genealogists

By Von Langen, LLC |

Genealogy has become a hobby for thousands of people. Many of us fancy ourselves amateur genealogists based on our use of public record databases and internet forums to find out more about our family tree. With growing public access to records databases through the internet, as well as the ubiquity of social media, it… Read More »

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Paying the Wrong “Heir” Can Result in Personal Liability

By Von Langen, LLC |

Whether you’ve been appointed as the personal representative for the estate of a family member, or you’re an experienced estate administrator working for a financial institution, administering an estate is a massive effort requiring hard work and careful attention to detail. When in the midst of completing your other duties, one task that can… Read More »

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The Essential Duties of an Estate Administrator, and How a Forensic Genealogist Can Help

By Von Langen, LLC |

If you’ve been appointed as the personal representative of an estate, you’ve been given a great deal of responsibility. Correctly consolidating and distributing the assets of the deceased person can be complex. Should a personal representative breach the legal duties they bear and cause the estate to suffer a loss, they may become personally… Read More »

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Heir Hunting’s Predatory Nature

By Von Langen, LLC |

While most of us respond to the news of a person’s passing with sympathy, there are industries that see the notice of a death and think of ways they can profit. Heir hunting involves a complete stranger with no relationship to the decedent, their personal representative, or their family inserting themselves uninvited into the… Read More »