Guidelines for Selecting an Heir Search Firm – Part II
Welcome to the second and final part of our blog series on selecting an heir search firm. In last month’s blog, we shared some helpful tips on the tactics used by many heir hunter firms, discussed the importance of transparent fee quotes upfront, and shared some insights from an HeirSearch client.
This month, we are continuing our discussion with some beneficial information regarding the importance of international search capabilities, legal documentation, and the personalized service legal professionals like yourself can expect from HeirSearch.
Prepared for the unexpected
Not all searches for missing or unknown heirs are created equal. Some searches can be resolved through a simple online search and a phone call. Most others are much more complex, requiring the specialized services that HeirSearch provides.
Selecting an heir search firm with international search capabilities will give you the confidence that, no matter what direction the search takes, you will be able to identify, locate, and prove the right heirs and fulfill your fiduciary responsibilities.
Take, for example, the Minneapolis-based probate attorney we spoke with last month. During our conversation, he shared that while most of the searches he hires HeirSearch for are within the United States, certain family trees necessitate access to international genealogical records to prove a lineage.
He leveraged HeirSearch in a probate case several years back when a woman of Norwegian descent died intestate and with no heirs. This case was unique as none of her siblings had children either, requiring an heir search on both sides of her family tree.
The search led our researchers to Northern Europe, where we located over 150 heirs in Norway and Sweden! “There is no way I could have done that on my own,” said our client. “My client was the last of her siblings to die, and by that time, she had a significant amount of assets left.”
An important reminder: HeirSearch would never expand our research beyond our initial quote without first detailing the reason for the change and providing an updated hourly-rate fee quote.
Court documents: more meaningful than you may realize
For our research to have the impact it requires, the court must be satisfied with the detail and quality of the final reporting and documentation we provide. Before selecting a firm to assist you in settling an estate, it is essential to understand the standards you should be expecting from their completed work.
At HeirSearch, we are proud to deliver our documented research in A Better Way. What does “a better way” mean? It’s our commitment to deliver all of our research to you in clear, concise, and easy-to-understand language and formatting. “It impresses the court for sure,” says a Minneapolis-based attorney. “The level of detail HeirSearch goes into is impressive.” On top of that, all HeirSearch researchers are prepared to provide testimony to a judge if necessary.
Our final reports can also give your clients a meaningful conclusion to the probate and research process. When we asked our client in Minneapolis about the value our completed research provides, he shared, “I always turn the documentation over to the family. I think it helps the family gain a deeper understanding of their history.”
A dedicated member of your team
Our final recommendation when selecting an heir search firm is to confirm the level of personalized service you can expect once you have signed a contract.
When working with HeirSearch, our team will feel like an extension of your firm or private practice. You can contact your assigned researcher or dedicated account manager directly on current cases and for future searches should you require our services.
“I have the freedom to reach out to someone I know vs. someone random,” says our client in Minneapolis. “I have a personal relationship [and] I can go directly to her instead of [HeirSearch] figuring out who will handle this. [She] knows what I’m all about.”
Trust and transparency above all
We hope that you have found our guidelines for selecting an heir search firm useful and that you have learned something new. At HeirSearch, we are committed to building relationships with our clients that are long-lasting and built on mutual trust and transparency.
The common thread through Part I and II of this series, has been our honest and upfront approach to everything we do. From fees and research scope to communication and documentation, legal professionals like yourself can expect the peace of mind that HeirSearch will keep you informed every step of the way.
How to Mitigate Fiduciary Risk During Probate?
If you need to establish heirship while minimizing your fiduciary risk, HeirSearch can help.
We proudly offer no-cost, no-obligation consultations, court-ready documents, legal testimony, global genealogical reach, and reasonable, transparent, non-percentage-based fees. HeirSearch™ works exclusively with executors, administrators, trustees, fiduciaries, bank and trust officers, and their counsel to establish kinship for legal purposes.
As an industry-leading forensic genealogy expert and heir finder, We Find Missing Heirs a Better Way®. Since 1967, we’ve completed tens of thousands of worldwide searches. HeirSearch’s professional researchers identify and locate missing heirs to an estate. We can help solve even the most complex probate cases, spanning multiple genealogical connections and geographies.
Feel free to reach out with any questions — we look forward to connecting!
Phone: +1 (800)-663-2255
This report is for informational purposes only and is intended only as a reference. HeirSearch does not endorse or recommend any of the products or services offered in the third-party articles or content contained within. We cannot guarantee the accuracy or effectiveness of the same and will not assume any liability related to the same. Additionally, nothing contained herein may be construed as legal advice. All offers are void where prohibited by law. Copyright © 2022 International Genealogical Search Inc. All rights reserved.