A SIMPLE NAME CHANGE
A woman died leaving no known heirs. She had accumulated thousands of dollars in stocks and bonds over the years, but left
no Will. She told neighbors that she had no relatives. Despite her statements, we found her sole niece living in Atlanta.
They apparently lost touch with each other when the niece changed her name and moved out of town to distance herself from
her former husband.
A LAST MINUTE CHANGE
A woman died leaving several first cousins claiming to be her closest heirs. Despite inquiries by various people, no closer
heirs appeared to exist. The Personal Representative of the Estate prepared to close and distribute the Estate. We learned
of the situation only three days prior to the final distribution. We located a niece and nephew of the decedent with only
one day to spare. The niece and nephew inherited the entire Estate.
DON'T THROW OUT THE TRASH
We found a sole heir to an Estate - a nephew who lived less than 3 miles from the uncle he never knew. We located the funds,
and as a result of our research this heir inherited a very nice amount of money, from a man who, by all indications, was
a derelict. Upon his death, his "shack" was cleaned out. Amongst hundreds of trash bags was one stuffed with stocks and
bonds. This man had claimed that he had no family.
EVERYONE HAS RELATIVES, SOME JUST CLOSER THAN OTHERS
One case we worked involved a woman who told everyone that she had no family. By the end of our research, we had located
75 heirs. Our research revealed that she left over 22 aunts and uncles (both of the whole blood and of the half blood).
When we started working this case, the value of the Estate was only modest. By the time we completed our research, the Estate
had grown considerably. Everyone was pleasantly surprised at a windfall received from an unknown relative.
THE COFFEE CAPER
Families split up over the oddest of reasons. One of our favorite cases involved a Bohemian family who split up in 1926 after
an argument over a can of coffee. Two brothers and a sister had a falling out, and all three went their own separate ways,
never speaking with each other again. One never had any children. One married, but divorced when one of the heirs was only
6 years old. Years down the road, after searching for 14 months, we found that 6 year old girl at age 76. Imagine her delight
when we informed her that she entitled to share in a very large estate.
ONE MAN'S FORTUNE
Some people are addicted to gambling, but there are others who enjoy playing with the stock market. One such individual lived
into his nineties, without the comfort of a wife and family, or a nice home by most standards. But he enjoyed the wealth
he amassed by investing. Odd that he should not leave this small fortune to a charity, but he died intestate. Old letters
and photographs of relatives in WWII Germany gave us the clue to find his heirs. This man's father came to the United States
around the turn of the century because of a dispute with his half brothers. A tidy sum was shared by his heirs in Europe
CLUES IN THE WINDY CITY
Quilting with the ladies of the church was the only social enjoyment of a woman in her late eighties who lived in a small
unassuming apartment. Her only sister died several years before and everyone thought she had no relatives. She was born
to a father who came to St. Louis from Chicago in the early 1900's. We might never have found her heirs if it had not been
for the 1920 Census and the help of a detective in the Chicago Police Department. This woman had an uncle who was a detective
in the 20's in Chicago. It just so happened that when he died he was buried with honors, and the Human Resources Division
of the Chicago Police Department had a copy of his obituary. The quilting lady had a hefty estate and it was shared amongst
approximately 30 heirs.
LIFE UPON THE WICKED STAGE IS NOTHING FOR A GIRL
A woman with a colorful past died leaving a tidy little sum of money. After several years of searching for her blood heirs
with no success, we found the heirs of her husband who died in Europe during WWI, only a month after they married. His military
records revealed that his mother had objected to the marriage due to the fact that his intended was a Zigfield Follies Girl.
Since he came from a wealthy family, she thought the performer was after his money. Sixty-five years later, the heirs of
the soldier buried in France shared the estate of his wife.