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Forensic Genealogists &
International Investigations
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Recent Blog Posts

Rolled up scroll of last will and testament fastened with hemp rope,

How the World of Unregulated Heir Hunters Overcharge Beneficiaries

By Von Langen, LLC |

It is important to note that the term “Heir Hunters” refers to those who are acting in that capacity without the knowledge or authority of the administrators, personal representatives, or their attorneys, or on behalf of or accountable to those parties who are responsible for an estate where there may be missing heirs or… Read More »

Last Will and testament document on wooden table close up

Probate 101: What to Know Before You Research a Deceased

By Von Langen, LLC |

Building a genealogical tree is a multi-step, complex process. Establishing a complete picture of a decedent’s heritage may be necessary when administering probate in order to find the proper heirs to the estate. Below, we offer a few tips for estate administrators and family members conducting research in connection with probate. For qualified, comprehensive… Read More »

3d render of DNA test tubes in row

How Forensic Genealogy Can Help You

By Von Langen, LLC |

Forensic genealogy is not a commonly-known practice area. Most people do not know what a forensic genealogist does, if they’ve even heard of the profession. Forensic genealogists perform an important service for estate administrators and others in need of accurate pictures of heirship and genealogy. Read on for a discussion of the important functions… Read More »

Concept of search for worker

Heir Locator Services: After Finding Heirs, What’s Next

By Von Langen, LLC |

If you are the administrator of an estate and the decedent passed away without a valid will or trust accounting for their assets, their estate will pass to familial relations in accordance with intestacy laws. Unless the heirs to an estate are abundantly clear–a surviving spouse and surviving children of the deceased, for example–it… Read More »

Inherit house or real estate from parents, financial advisor on

What You Need to Know About an Heir-At-Law

By Von Langen, LLC |

Ideally, all of a decedent’s assets will be accounted for in a will, trust, and/or other estate planning instruments. In many cases, however, people pass away before executing a will, the proper beneficiaries predecease the testator, or other obstacles arise. When someone dies without a will, their estate will go through the probate process,… Read More »

Testament and last wish property bequeath in old age tiny person

What Is an Affidavit of Heirship?

By Von Langen, LLC |

When a person dies without a will, it can give rise to a number of challenges. It can be difficult to corral all of their assets as well as to identify who should inherit what. Often, estates without a will wind up in probate court, which can be time-consuming and costly. Some states offer… Read More »

Take the money and run

Signs of Predatory Heir Hunters

By Von Langen, LLC |

Predatory heir hunters are a common nuisance. They scour obituaries and databases to find unclaimed estates, identify the heirs, and then demand the rightful heirs pay exorbitant sums just to get the inheritance to which they are legally entitled. They prey on the fact that most people don’t know the law and don’t know… Read More »

Green oil pumpjack in a field of cows in New Mexico

How is Forensic Genealogy Used in Mineral Rights Investments and Unclaimed Property

By Von Langen, LLC |

Most people understand that when they purchase property, they own that property, and that’s where the thought typically ends. It’s conceptually difficult (and often pointless) to wonder about what happens in the air above the property or below the surface of the Earth. No one expects airlines to pay them for an easement in… Read More »

Hand holding magnifying glass and looking at house model, house

Indonesian Teen Receives Half a Million Dollars Thanks to Heir Search

By Von Langen, LLC |

Proper forensic genealogy can often turn up unexpected results. While supposed heirs often try to show up to claim parts of an unclaimed estate, a proper heir search can help estate administrators find the true legal heirs. Recently, heir researchers were able to track down a teenaged girl in Indonesia and identify her as… Read More »

adult hands key to child

What Are Beneficiary Designations?

By Von Langen, LLC |

When transferring assets to loved ones, it’s not always ideal to transfer those assets directly via gift (while living) or via will (upon death). There are certain assets for which you can designate a beneficiary to take control of the assets upon your passing. Continue reading for a discussion of beneficiary designations, and call… Read More »