Legacy Tree Genealogists has served families with professional, traditional research and reporting for more than 18 years. But we also provide forensic probate research for legal professionals and estate administrators. And over the years, our probate department has developed an excellent reputation for successfully identifying and locating heirs for estates around the world. We typically locate heirs in accordance with a will, but in some states, a will alone is not enough to satisfy legal … [Read more...]
Probate Courts are Beginning to Reopen…Let’s Get Ready to Notify!
Are you a probate attorney, paralegal, estate administrator, fiduciary, or investor? Probate courts are beginning to open. Be prepared and beat the rush! Our team of forensic genealogists’ shares tips to ensure you’re ready to notify. As probate courts begin to reopen, the courts will be inundated with new cases. It will be more important than ever to be ready and to achieve as much progress as possible in each hearing and avoid unnecessary continuances. Each state has very specific laws … [Read more...]
Forensic and Probate Research Frequently Asked Questions
Legacy Tree Genealogists has a dedicated probate research division, and has been servicing the forensic needs of attorneys, paralegals, estate administrators, fiduciaries and investors since 2004. Check out our forensic and probate research FAQ. What is forensic genealogy? Forensic genealogy is genealogical research in relation to legal matters. This most often involves genealogical research to define the identities and locate contact information for potential heirs based on descendancy. … [Read more...]
The Lure of the Land: 4 Types of Land Records That Can Help Solve Genealogy Brick Walls
Land records are some of the most underutilized, yet most useful, records available in genealogy. Often, they are the only records which state a direct relationship between family members. They can also be used to prove relationships indirectly by studying the land laws in force at the time. Sometimes they can even be used to locate an ancestor’s farm or original house, so that we can walk today where our family walked long ago. Land records exist in the United States in abundance for most … [Read more...]
“Was My Ancestor an Orphan?” Understanding Guardianship in Genealogy
Who is considered an orphan? Someone with no living parents? Not until the late 1800s. In this article we'll explain what guardianship really means. Genealogists may encounter references to orphans in guardianship or probate records. However, researchers shouldn’t assume both parents were deceased. Those who had lost only one parent, especially a father, were termed “social orphans.” In colonial times, children were considered assets in which their fathers had property rights. Widows could even … [Read more...]
Why Do I Need a Forensic Genealogist?
This guide explains the ins and outs of forensic genealogy research - also commonly referred to as probate, heir or estate research, and how a forensic genealogist can help you. What is probate research? In its simplest form, probate is the process, overseen by a court, whereby a deceased person’s assets are distributed to their heirs and creditors. However, probate is not always simple! Each state has a court that handles probate and the process varies by state. In New York, the probate … [Read more...]
How Can Investors Benefit from Probate Researchers?
How can investors benefit from the services of probate researchers? What can a probate researcher do and not do? Find out! A Seemingly Odd Pair, or a Power Couple? “An investor is a person that allocates capital with the expectation of a future financial return.” “Forensic genealogy is genealogical research, analysis, and reporting in cases with legal implications, often involving living individuals.” Together, the pair work to achieve market dominance. “Market dominance is a … [Read more...]
We Have Your Back! 5 Ways Attorneys Benefit from Probate Research Services
Are you a probate attorney, paralegal, estate administrator, fiduciary or investor? We share 5 ways you can benefit from probate research services. Probate research – also commonly referred to as forensic genealogy, heir or estate research is genealogical research conducted to assist in legal matters. An experienced probate researcher can prove invaluable in the probate process. In this article, we share the top 5 ways probate researchers can address common pain points attorneys face, and how … [Read more...]
Intestate Succession – 50 Laws for 50 States
What are the rules? Who gets what? Each state maintains its own laws as to which family members will receive an inheritance from a person who has died “intestate.” What does it mean to have "died intestate"? The person who has died is called “the decedent.” To have “died intestate” means the decedent died without a valid will in place. The decedent’s assets belong to their “estate” until the probate process is complete. Who gets what when there is no will? The assets of intestate estates … [Read more...]
More Than Just Wills: The Parts of Probate
No genealogical research in America prior to the 20th century is complete without a search for probate records. Most of us are at least a little familiar with these sorts of documents, although perhaps only through words and documents which affect us even in the 21st century such as “wills” and “estates.” In short, probate is the broad term for the process by which a deceased individual’s worldly possessions are legally divided and debts are paid upon his or her death. How this has functioned … [Read more...]