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Forensic Genealogists &
International Investigations
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How a Forensic Genealogist Can Help as an Expert Witness in an Estate Case

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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 how a forensic genealogist can help with a legal dispute concerning an estate. Call an experienced and qualified forensic genealogist for assistance with an estate matter.

Providing Advice and Assistance

A forensic genealogist is a vital tool for any estate administrator struggling with identifying all appropriate heirs, especially when a person dies intestate. The genealogist can research as many degrees of relationship as you need in order to locate heirs, determine whether certain claimants are actually heirs, and divine among multiple heirs the degree of relationship they carry to the decedent. Your forensic genealogist can provide all appropriate and relevant documentation to ensure that you satisfy all due diligence requirements before a matter is concluded and to protect yourself against unnecessary liability.

Even where expert testimony is not needed, a forensic genealogist can advise your attorney on the matter so that they enter with a full and accurate understanding of the genealogy at play in the case.

Providing Vital Testimony and Expert Opinion

In addition to advising on the case, a qualified forensic genealogist can testify as an expert witness to resolve a dispute in an estate matter. Many estate disputes come down to which parties are proper heirs and the degree to which each party is related to the decedent. An experienced forensic genealogist can put together an expert report identifying the complete family tree of the decedent in order to identify where each party to the matter falls.

If a party claims to be an heir but is not actually related to the decedent, the forensic genealogist can show through forensic research that the purported heir is unrelated. When multiple parties are claiming heirship, the forensic genealogist’s testimony can be used to establish just how much of a claim each party has based on their relationship to the decedent. While state law establishes the exact “hierarchy” of heirs, your expert forensic genealogist can provide the data and build out the genealogical map that allows the court to make an informed decision. If you are hunting for the proper heirs, your forensic genealogist can locate living heirs to the greatest extent possible given the available data.

If you’re an estate administrator in need of expert help with an estate case, if you need experienced assistance identifying and locating missing heirs to an estate, or if you would benefit from heir research services to satisfy due diligence requirements, contact the experienced and effective forensic genealogists at Von Langen, LLC at 561-748-2936.