As an attorney, you want to be able to take care of your clients’ needs quickly and easily. When the executor is only able to give you a possible list of relatives you know you need help. You start with your paralegal in hopes they can figure out who the heirs might be. If your paralegal has not been educated in the genealogical field, specifically the forensic genealogical field, s/he might not be successful. At best, if not properly trained, how would you or a judge know that they really identified all the heirs to an estate? We’re certain your client appreciates your efforts to work quickly and efficiently. But is it efficient both in time and finance, to have you or your paralegal do this work? Are you or your paralegal qualified to be a genealogist?
Well-Intentioned But Wrong
The attorney that contacted me recently sent me all the work they and their paralegal had pulled together. Starting with the death certificate and the will it became obvious very quickly that the attorney and the paralegal had gone down the wrong path. Are they going to remove those charges from their client’s bill? Likely they will not remove these charges. The amount the attorney will charge the client will be more than the forensic genealogist’s bill to the estate. To save your clients time and money in the future, contact me. I am trained in the genealogical field, specifically in the forensic field. I have worked as a forensic genealogist for more than 16 years.
We recreate the family tree and bring all the lines forward to today. We then go through all the databases we have to find current addresses for these people. Letters and family trees are mailed to each person we identify asking them to get in touch with me or with the attorney in the case. In the end, I send to the attorney the report he requested on the signed contract; a list of heirs to the estate (with current address) explaining how each person is related and a family tree chart.
Hiring a Forensic Genealogist vs a Private Investigator
Why would you hire a forensic genealogist vs hiring a Private Investigator? A private investigator is trained to find people they know are living. A genealogist is trained to recreate the family tree first and then bring all the family lines forward to today and then locate all of those people. We also identify any person in the tree who has already passed on. If the forensic genealogist is not able to find a current address for an heir, they can hire a PI to search additional databases for our missing heir. In working in this manner the client expends less financially for the research to be done.
Contact me: If you have questions about locating missing heirs to your client’s estates please contact me at Leslie@LawsonResearch.net. I’m more than happy to help you understand my process to locate the missing heirs to your case.
Research Tip of the Month
Always start with what you know. If you have the exact death date of the decedent, get their death certificate. Did they leave a will with specific bequests to people? Begin the comparisons there. Compare, correlate, and determine kinship. Document your steps; create source citations for your documents.