Excepting Trust & Estate attorneys, many law firms as well as most executors may not have experience in probate matters.
For individuals, this could a long-deferred project, a new adventure or old one stalled by a brick wall. Jordan Auslander's experience in each genre of investigation maximizes the potential for results. This is an art, not a science, no specific outcome can be promised, only the most thorough, diligent search. The following will help focus your situation.
The documents I need are out of state (or overseas) can you still get them?
We have extensive on-site research experience and maintain contacts with archivists at resources throughout the US, Canada, Israel and Europe including the Former Soviet Union and Communist Bloc countries. Many documents can be obtained, economically by correspondence or by a network of representatives.
It's all on the internet, why can't I do this myself?
Anyone can fix a car, but we still have mechanics. The courts usually require an independent expert for kinship diligence. The internet is a start, but there are so many critical that haven't even been properly indexed, much less files that are fully digitized. I make my living getting my hands dirty delving deep into archives, where I revisit and continually discover new Rosetta stones. I also know to go back to original sources. Errors are inherent with even the most rigorous indexing; frequently I'm dealing with multiple generations of transliteration, (i.e. the evolution of first names from Hebrew, to Russian than English and their three different calendars).
Can you find “missing persons'?
Yes, in many cases we can find or account for them to a court's satisfaction. This depends on how long they have been ‘missing' and how much and how recent your information is. Again, you probably know more than you realize. We take your puzzle pieces and create a usable image to start with, then find more.
How long will an heir search, or probate case take?
This depends on what you want and where that information is. If you have a deadline, I will meet it.
My budget is limited; can you work with that?
Yes. Your goals and objectives are what drives each case.
What guarantee do I have?
I will meet or exceed the legally mandated “Diligent search” requirement, in New York it's the Standard of Proof SCPA 2225. I'm a thorough, experienced and resourceful researcher this maximizes the chance of results. I can also check your work and see what facts and assumptions we're starting with to better our odds. Don't trust anyone who promises discoveries.
What is the order of decedent's succession?
This varies by state, a lawyer should clarify the class of heirs, or distributes for an estate, but generally spouse, issue (children), parents, siblings, grandparents (rare), first cousins, first cousins once removed.
Do I really need a professional genealogist?
No, you don't. No one knows your family better that you and it's fun to discover things on your own. People come to me because they have the money, not the time, or they have done all they could.
I want to try this on my own. How should I get started?
Build on what you know, then talk to older relatives, memories may need some prompting. Oral histories are best obtained over several occasions when facts and clues are followed up on and time lines and family trees are used as templates. Family information can be gleaned from address books, family bibles, scrapbooks and photo albums (document restoration and enhancement services are also available).
Identifying search parameters helps especially when common names are involved. Legends and rumors are more helpful than presumptions in seeking facts.
Names, dates & addresses -- a time-line;whatever you have for the following:
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