Whether the decedent had a will or died intestate, all the heirs should be accounted for. Champion & Champion has been providing expert heir research services to the legal community for approximately 20 years.
An individual may have had a will prepared many years before they actually pass away. Sometimes, a beneficiary may have moved, changed their name, or died. Unfortunately, people do not update their wills when needed, and the executor or estate attorney has the complicated job of searching for the whereabouts of one or more beneficiaries. Utilizing state-of-the-art technology, specialized investigative databases, and a worldwide network of affiliates, we are able to locate these missing heirs all over the world.
More often, we are called upon to assist with identifying and locating the heirs of an intestate decedent. We search thoroughly for all types of situations. The decedent may have had an estranged son/daughter, or even an illegitimate child. When there are no close relatives to inherit, our experienced genealogical investigators can expertly identify the decedent’s maternal and paternal family and locate the heirs-at-law.
More and more people are choosing to put their assets in a trust. Trustees hold a fiduciary role with respect to the beneficiaries of the trust. When you need to locate the current address of a beneficiary or determine if they are still living, our firm can help. Our expert genealogical investigators can provide the information you need to fulfill your duties. We strive to provide our clients with timely, accurate service.
Title & Mineral Rights
Champion & Champion’s expert heir research and locating services have benefited numerous title companies in clearing up clouds on title. Finding the death of a property owner from the 1940’s – no problem. Finding his heirs – no problem. We can help provide the documentation needed to prove property ownership and mineral rights.
Time and budgetary limitations sometimes makes it necessary to prepare a Report of Due Diligence. Our professional staff is able to prepare detailed Reports of Due Diligence and/or Affidavits to satisfy the legal requirements of the probate court.
The type of research our firm provides is unique. Whether you want to call it Heir Research, Probate Research, Missing Heir Research, Heir Locating, or the latest term – Forensic Genealogy, it takes a certain skill to identify and locate living heirs. Most “genealogists” work backwards and will only utilize standard genealogical records and databases. A Forensic Genealogist will search beyond the bounds of conventional genealogy, she will use proprietary investigative databases, non-public records, and numerous other resources. At Champion & Champion, we not only go a step further, but if need be, we go a mile further.
Please note that in most states, it is illegal for an individual or company to perform people searches and obtain documentation such as birth certificates, driver’s licenses, etc. without the individual/company being licensed as a private investigator/private investigation company. All heir locaters should be licensed private investigators.
When all you need is a document… Champion & Champion has access to millions of records and can search and obtain:
- Death Certificates
- Marriage and Divorce records
- Naturalization Records
- Dawes Rolls
- Military Records
- Title Deeds
- Oil Leases
- and much, much, more
Once the research has been completed, trained staff will prepare a detailed report containing: genealogical information on the decedent and his family, genealogical charts, names and addresses of all the heirs, and proof documentation. Our reports are expertly prepared and professional looking. Attorneys, public administrators, and judges have used our reports in court and commended Champion & Champion on the thorough and organized report presented.
In Texas, many families have questions concerning any entitlement to mineral/oil royalties stemming from an ancestor’s land grant (Porcion). Once your ancestry has been confirmed, our firm can research title deeds, lease agreements, district clerk records and other resources to identify any potential your family may have concerning mineral/oil royalties. We will specifically search for those records that pertain to your ancestors and advise you of your options.