HeirSearch (a division of International Genealogical Search Inc.) works with executors, administrators, trustees, fiduciaries, bank and trust officers, and their counsel to establish kinship for legal purposes. Since 1967, we’ve used forensic genealogy, an analytical research method, to successfully complete thousands of worldwide searches.
We specialize in working with the legal and trust professions, helping them meet their fiduciary responsibilities in estate, trust, notice, and property matters.
When HeirSearch company founder, C. Tim Rodenbush, originally coined our slogan WE FIND MISSING HEIRS A BETTER WAY®, it meant reasonable fees never based on a percentage of an inheritance. We achieve industry-leading results with our steadfast devotion to Tim’s A Better Way philosophy: consistently charging fair and reasonable, non-percentage-based fees for excellent, court-ready results. Thanks to our proven record of success and dedication to our values, HeirSearch has become the industry leader and heir search firm of choice.
What We Do
Our satisfied clients include sole legal practitioners as well as some of the largest probate and estate planning law firms, financial institutions, private companies and governmental agencies in North America.
Our extensive experience and worldwide resources mean that we can solve cases both simple and complex, domestically and internationally. Since 1967, we’ve successfully completed tens of thousands of searches, identifying and locating hundreds of thousands of individuals.
When a search concludes, we send detailed reports, including family tree charts, supporting documentation and sworn affidavits, to help our clients settle matters as quickly and as cost effectively as possible.
A Better Way™
Significant concerns have been expressed over the years by the legal profession and consumers about the percentage fees, or “contingency fees,” charged by some heir locator firms. Many heir locator firms, or “heir hunters,” may use questionable, high-pressure tactics to obtain excessive percentage fees of inheritances. In order to protect their fees, heir hunters often withhold the name of the deceased, and even the amount of the inheritance, until the heir agrees to sign a contract. This means heirs are asked to sign away an unknown amount, sometimes as much as 50% of their total inheritance. There is A Better Way.
Reasonable Non-Percentage-Based Fees
Our fees are quoted in advance and determined by a set fee schedule based on the type of search and your requirements – never as a percentage of the trust or estate.
Authorized Search Services
Significant windfall rewards are available for heir hunters, who frequently start unauthorized searches without client consent or contractual arrangement. Our reasonable fees are always quoted in advance, and we never initiate an independent search. Our experience has shown that courts look more favorably on agreements with heir search firms when the cost of the search is known in advance.
97% Success Rate Since 1967
Thanks to a combination of specialized education, training and experience, our research experts are highly qualified to find missing heirs and beneficiaries. Since 1967, this knowledge and expertise has resulted in an average success rate of 97%.
Documented Court-Ready Reports
Our final report provides clear and convincing evidence, suitable for an exhibit in court proceedings. All available supporting documentation is included in a concise, easy-to-read format.
HeirSearch has successfully located tens of thousands of missing heirs and lost beneficiaries in more than 65 countries. Regardless of the location of the missing heirs or amount of information available on them, our in-house knowledge and international expertise means we succeed where other search firms often fail.
Affiliations & Partners
HeirSearch is a proud Value Partner of the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils (NAEPC). NAEPC establishes and monitors the highest professional and educational standards and fosters awareness of professionals who meet their service standards.
HeirSearch is a Gold Level Associate Member of the American Bankers Association. The voice of America’s $14 trillion banking industry, the ABA represents banks of all sizes and charters, from the smallest community banks to the largest bank holding companies.
HeirSearch is an A+ Member of the Better Business Bureau, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing marketplace trust through industry self-regulation. The BBB’s ratings help consumers throughout North America find businesses and charities they can trust.
Suzanne Simpson, VP of Business Development at HeirSearch, is proud to be a Friend of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners. STEP is a global multi-disciplinary organization with the most experienced and senior practitioners in their respective fields.
The Financial Awareness Foundation was formed for the purpose of significantly helping to solve a major social problem dealing with the lack of financial awareness and financial literacy. This 501© non-profit serves as a neutral advocate for professionals, companies, associations, educational institutions, municipalities, non-profits, and the general public.
HeirSearch’s partner, Evaluation Services, Inc., specializes in securities pricing information. As experts, they are committed to assuring the most comprehensive and accurate data available to satisfy the reporting requirements of the Internal Revenue Service.