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Forensic Genealogists &
International Investigations
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Recent Blog Posts

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Von Langen Finds Heir and Refutes False Claim Filed by Heir Hunters

By Von Langen, LLC |

We have discussed scam heir hunters before. Specifically, several heir hunter companies were recently convicted by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) for violating federal anti-competition law. However, they are still plying their trade. The forensic genealogy team at Von Langen recently completed another assignment where we thwarted those heir hunters, Kemp & Associates,… Read More »

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How to Fill Out an Affidavit of Heirship

By Von Langen, LLC |

An Affidavit of Heirship is an affidavit outlining the family history of a deceased person and the identity of any known heirs. The affidavit is then filed in the public records where the decedent’s real property is located. It can serve as a useful tool to aid in the search for legitimate heirs of… Read More »

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Questions to Ask an Heir Hunter

By Von Langen, LLC |

Unscrupulous heir hunters try to usurp the role of estate administrators and legitimate forensic genealogists by combing death notices and obituaries, tracking down unaware heirs, and then charging them exorbitant fees for connecting them with the inheritance they are rightfully owed under the law. If you or your clients are approached by an heir… Read More »

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The Dangers of Heir Hunters

By Von Langen, LLC |

Heir hunters are individuals or companies that monitor probate filings to identify intestate decedents who have missing or unknown relatives. The heir hunters then target those successors, promising to inform them of their legal rights in exchange for a share of their inheritance. The fees they charge are often exorbitant, and the heir finder… Read More »

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When Should Your Client Get Out of a Contingency Fee Heir Finder Contract

By Von Langen, LLC |

Heir hunters are unscrupulous heir finders that take advantage of vulnerable or unwary heirs who are oblivious to their legal rights. If a person agrees to a contingency fee contract with an heir finder and then realizes that they are heir hunters whose fee is simply unreasonable, what are their options? Are they bound… Read More »

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Heir Location Service Provider Sentenced, Fined Over $1.5 Million

By Von Langen, LLC |

Last July, we wrote about several heir hunting companies that were under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) for conspiring to violate federal anti-competition law. The defendants were recently sentenced after being convicted of their federal crimes. Continue reading below for details on their actions and the sentence imposed by the court…. Read More »

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What Do I Need to Know If I’m Contacted by an Heir Hunter?

By Von Langen, LLC |

When a person dies, the administrator of the estate will contact heirs so they can receive their proper inheritance. Depending upon how the will is written, or whether there is a will at all, the estate administrator may need help locating all the heirs and may employ the skills of a professional forensic genealogist… Read More »

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‘Tis the Season to Learn of Missing Heirs

By Von Langen, LLC |

Estate administrators and probate attorneys are often presented with puzzles to solve. Estates that may have seemed at first to be straightforward can suddenly reveal their complexity, sometimes in surprising ways. One such surprising source that has led many a puzzled attorney to our doorstep? Holiday cards. Below, learn about how this traditional year-end… Read More »

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Heir Law Forum Offers Valuable Resource to Estate Administrators, Public Administrators and Other Probate Professionals

By Von Langen, LLC |

The persons charged with administrating an estate or locating other types of beneficiaries are tasked with what can be a thankless job. Members of the public and the legal community expect flawless execution of the task of distributing proceeds to the correct beneficiary, despite the countless challenges standing in the way. Public administrators, conservators,… Read More »

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The Perils of Relying on Heir Hunters Again Made Evident Thanks to Complete Genealogical Investigation

By Von Langen, LLC |

Estate administrators assigned to handle intestate estates often have the unenviable job of determining whether a claim of heirship is valid. When the decedent dies without a spouse, children, or family living nearby, there is no easy way to learn more about their life or family relationships. In one such case, an attorney working… Read More »