has a reputation for being able to locate missing heirs or people. Usually it is because a family member is trying to reconnect with another family member who has not been in contact for a long time. But other situations arise where we are asked to find people like the case of the veteran who died not remembering he had an insurance policy and hadn’t seen any family for more than 55 years.
The veteran was quite elderly and had moved into a nursing home because he needed care. When he passed, his bank acted as executor and discovered he was the owner of an insurance policy that had been purchased in the late 1940s. It was now worth more than a half a million dollars. The beneficiary on the policy was his mother. And that was all the bank had in the way of information when they turned to to find the missing heir.
In our research we discovered that the mother had divorced the father well before the veteran joined the Army. As an heir finder, we know women are difficult to track because they remarry and change names. We found the veteran’s mother had remarried twice and the veteran had six half-siblings. Now we were faced with tracing six unknown heirs and several of them were women. Sometimes locating one of the missing heirs leads us to others.
We found one – a half-brother who was close with two others who shared the same father, the third husband. From them we learned both their parents had died. Our investigator explained we were trying to locate them because of the death of their half-brother, the veteran. Once they knew we did not know the exact identity of the missing heirs remaining, they became much less cooperative.
This is not uncommon when heir finders uncover large numbers of siblings or blended families. Some heirs believe that if the others are not located, they will not have to share the inheritance. But the job of was to find heirs – all of them – for this veteran. We kept our client, the bank, informed of the progress and continued our missing heir search.
We did track down all six of the previously unknown missing heirs. We never knew if the veteran was ever aware he had a total of six half-siblings. But we did our job and in the end, they knew about him.
-Brenda McGinley, CEO, All in Investigations, All in Investigations
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