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Recent Blog Posts

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Heir Hunting Firm Abandons Claims after Von Langen LLC Uncovers Additional Heirs

By Von Langen, LLC |

It isn’t unusual for Von Langen LLC to encounter heir hunting firms while conducting research on a deceased person’s lineage. In some cases, these heir hunting firms have entered contracts to represent the heirs in a claim long before they have completed a thorough search of the deceased person’s heirs. In some cases, the… Read More »

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Multiple Marriages, Adoptions, and Half-Siblings Complicate Search for Heirs

By Von Langen, LLC |

The forensic genealogists at Von Langen LLC recently completed a search for heirs of one Esther Ragsdale of Ashland City, Tennessee. For background, Von Langen LLC’s client advised us that an heir hunter’s attorney represented an alleged “half-grandniece” and “half-great-grandniece” who were located as a result of the heir hunter’s unauthorized search; their search… Read More »

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Investigation Uncovers Previously-Unknown Half-Sister

By Von Langen, LLC |

You’ve probably seen movies or tv shows where the main character receives the improbable news that they’ve just inherited a fortune from a relative they didn’t know they had. It isn’t unheard of that our researchers are able to notify unwitting heirs of their right to inherit a portion of an unknown relative’s estate…. Read More »

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Forensic Genealogy: Much More than

By Von Langen, LLC |

If you or your organization are searching for heirs, whether of an estate, a trust, an investment account, or mineral rights, you may wonder whether it’s truly important to hire a professional to conduct this research. After all, information on just about anyone can be found online with a few google searches, right? There… Read More »


Attorney Petitions to Reopen Estate, but Purported Heirs Lack Support

By Von Langen, LLC |

When an individual dies without a will or heirs, their assets will escheat to the state. Some individuals see this as “free money” and a golden opportunity to profit. In one such case, an attorney filed a petition to reopen a closed estate on behalf of alleged “heirs” to a woman who passed away… Read More »

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Von Langen Celebrates Thirty Years

By Von Langen, LLC |

We’re proud to announce that 2018 marks the 30th year for Cliff von Langen, a leader in the field of forensic genealogy and international investigations. During these thirty years of providing help with heir location, as well as other services making use of our uniquely-equipped team of investigators and forensic genealogists, we’ve tackled a… Read More »

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What and Who to Know as an Estate Executor

By Von Langen, LLC |

If you’ve been named as the executor or administrator of the estate of a family member or friend, you may not have experience or familiarity with the need for a determination of heirship proceeding. Locating information on heirs-at-law or beneficiaries may require extensive searching through documents and court records packed with obscure legal terms… Read More »

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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 »