Unveiling the Genetic Tapestry: DNA’s Crucial Role in Trust Termination
Susan North established a lifetime revocable living trust designating her son as the primary beneficiary. However, when her son, Thomas North, passed away shortly after her, the trust faced a complex situation. Engaging our services, the trust company, appointed as the Executor to the Estate of Thomas North, sought our expertise in identifying, locating, proving, and reporting the Decedent’s lineal descendants to facilitate the termination of the trust and conclude the estate proceedings.
The Search for Hidden Connections
Preliminary research and family interviews conducted by the trust company revealed that Thomas North had two sons, one of whom, Paul North, had seemingly changed his last name to Koviak through adoption. The trust company, aiming to confirm this change, knew that Paul was unaware of his biological connection to Thomas until recently. Simultaneously, they needed to verify the non-adoption status of the other son, Bradley North, and explore the possibility of additional heirs.
Armed with this mission, our research experts embarked on a comprehensive journey to corroborate provided information and trace the lineal descendants of Thomas North.
Unraveling the Genetic Puzzle
Utilizing diverse databases, we successfully located Bradley North. During our interviews with Bradley, we learned he was uncertain about the existence of other siblings besides his brother that was adopted.
As adoptions and legal proceedings are often documented in local newspapers, we scoured publications related to Thomas North, Bradley North, and Paul Koviak. While various articles announced Thomas North’s societal engagements, none provided information about Bradley or Paul.
DNA: The Decisive Factor
Recognizing the need for concrete proof of Paul’s biological connection to Thomas, we turned to DNA testing. In collaboration with various labs, we facilitated separate tests to determine the biological relationship between Paul and Bradley. Additionally, learning of the decedent’s living brother, Richard North, we compared Paul’s DNA with Richard’s to establish a conclusive link.
Through the application of Forensic Genealogy and DNA testing, we provided the Executor with irrefutable evidence: Bradley North was not adopted and Paul Koviak was indeed the biological son of Thomas North. Our research also was able to verify that no other lineal descendants existed.
Armed with this verified information, the trust company could confidently proceed with the subsequent steps in terminating the trust, marking a successful resolution to a complex familial and legal puzzle.
If you are a trustee needing DNA services to establish heirship to satisfy the terms of a trust, HeirSearch can help.
We’ve successfully solved many cases using DNA and genetic genealogy, including ones involving:
- proving and disproving paternity
- last known location and identification, and
- confirmation of familial connection
Our DNA specialists provide lab options, explain reporting, offer consulting or full oversight services, and can advise of testimony options where applicable. We offer no-cost, no-obligation consultations, even if you are not planning to start a search right away. Feel free to reach out with any questions you might have — we look forward to connecting!
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Disclaimer: Although accurate in scope, all identifying information such as names, dates and locations have been changed in order to protect the privacy of individuals.
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