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Forensic Genealogists &
International Investigations
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Recent Blog Posts

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Things to Do if You Are Contacted by an Heir Hunter

By Von Langen, LLC |

When a person passes away, the administrator of the estate will attempt to track down heirs and named beneficiaries in the will to notify them of their rights. Sometimes, they have difficulty locating putative heirs and will hire professional forensic genealogists to search for missing heirs. Forensic genealogists differ from heir hunters who are… Read More »

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Von Langen Discovers Heir Hunter Deliberately Cut Out Heirs Who Refused to Pay

By Von Langen, LLC |

We’ve said it before and we’ve demonstrated it in our practice: If you want accurate heir information, you need to retain a proper forensic genealogist, not an unscrupulous heir hunter. A recent case handled by Von Langen, LLC serves to highlight this point. An estate administrator was presented with claims filed by an attorney… Read More »

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How a Forensic Genealogist Can Help as an Expert Witness in an Estate Case

By Von Langen, LLC |

Forensic genealogy is an extremely useful tool when trying to identify the appropriate heirs to an estate. In addition to locating living heirs on the front end, research and testimony from an expert forensic genealogist can provide the evidentiary support necessary for a court to rule appropriately in an estate dispute. Below, we explore… Read More »

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How is Forensic Genealogy Different From Regular Genealogy?

By Von Langen, LLC |

Many people by now have heard of direct-to-consumer “genealogical services” companies such as Ancestry.com and 23andme. These companies offer a service, to be sure, but it is worlds apart from the services offered by qualified forensic genealogists. Below, we explain the purpose of a forensic genealogist and how their work differs from standard genealogy…. Read More »

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Why Do I Need a Forensic Genealogist?

By Von Langen, LLC |

We will be the first to admit that most people do not know what a forensic genealogist does, or why they are necessary. While it is a lesser-known specialty, forensic genealogy serves a vital service in ensuring the effective administration of probate and the proper distribution of estates. Below, we discuss the important functions… Read More »

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What is Intestate Succession? How Can a Forensic Genealogist Help?

By Von Langen, LLC |

Ideally, before a person passes away, they have the time and opportunity to get all of their affairs in order. They will execute a will, trust, or other means of ensuring their entire estate is distributed to their heirs in accordance with their wishes. Unfortunately, not everyone is afforded the opportunity to get all… Read More »

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Tips for Hiring a Forensic Genealogist

By Von Langen, LLC |

If you are trying to administer an estate and you cannot find the proper heirs, you should seek assistance from a professional forensic genealogist. A skilled forensic genealogist will utilize genealogical evidence to produce a legal identification of the proper heir to an estate and work to track down that heir in order to… Read More »

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What if an Heir to an Estate with a Will Cannot Be Found?

By Von Langen, LLC |

When someone dies, their assets are distributed according to their will or trust. If there is no will, trust, or other estate planning document that dictates property distribution, then the assets will pass by way of “intestate succession.” Property will go to the nearest living relative (e.g., a spouse), then the next level of… Read More »

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What Happens to an Unclaimed Inheritance?

By Von Langen, LLC |

When a person dies without a will, it is known as dying “intestate.” Each state has specific laws concerning what happens to a person’s assets when they die intestate. There are some general guidelines, however. Read on to learn what happens to assets when a person dies intestate or when no proper heir can… Read More »

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How to Find the Value of an Unclaimed Estate

By Von Langen, LLC |

Unclaimed estates present attractive business opportunities for “heir hunters,” people who track down purported heirs to an estate and charge a significant portion of the inheritance for their services. Heir hunters jealously guard the true value of an unclaimed estate, assuming they even know, in order to obscure their ultimate fee. If you are… Read More »