Dealing with an intestate estate can come with a substantial amount of risk as family relationships are often complex and not always as they seem. Over the last few decades, we have seen a rise in adoption, an increase in the number of children born outside of traditional marriages, and the growth of blended families. These changes in family dynamics result in more complexities, making family tree verification more important than ever before.
Title Research has over 50 years of genealogy experience and over that time we have frequently seen Personal Representatives, who are personally liable to correctly administer the estate, come close to a misdistribution when dealing with an intestacy. That’s why it’s important to protect against future claims on the estate.
If the deceased’s family has provided you with a complete family tree, we always recommend that you get the information professionally verified to ensure the estate is only distributed to entitled people. Alternatively, if little or no detail is known, we highly advise instructing a professional to reconstruct the family tree to give you greater insight into family lines.
Family tree verification with FamilyChecker™
On intestacy, you should always question the family tree that you’ve been presented with. Ask yourself the following questions. Was the deceased’s father definitely an only child? Did the predeceased cousin have children with his first wife? Was the child definitely legally adopted in?
If you’ve been presented with a complete family tree, our experienced genealogy team can check the family tree for accuracy by:
- Documenting any births, marriages, deaths and adoptions.
- Carrying out confirmatory searches of marriage and birth indices.
- Interviewing all of the potential heirs.
Once we have verified the family tree and obtained any missing documentation needed, we will also provide you with an insurance policy, certificates proving entitlement (where not already provided), a distribution schedule and a diagrammatic family tree.
Family tree reconstruction
When you’re presented with an estate where little or no information is known about the family tree, Title Research’s family tree reconstruction service can give you a greater insight into family lines. Our team of genealogy specialists will investigate all of the entitled heirs by descending each family line. They will also formally contact each beneficiary and confirm their identity.
If required, we can obtain missing beneficiary indemnity insurance on your behalf. Our reports and family trees are accepted by specialist insurers.
By verifying or reconstructing the family tree, you can eliminate the risk of misdistribution for both you and your client, whilst also protecting against future claims on the estate.
If you would like to find out more about our FamilyChecker™ or family tree reconstruction services, call us on 0345 87 27 600 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.