Real Cases

Real Estate

A developer was trying to assemble several tracts of land in suburban Maryland just outside of Washington, D.C. for a major urban development project. All the needed land had been acquired except for one small parcel. The developer and its law firm spent months trying to locate this absentee owner, and then finally called on Capitol Inquiry for help. Our investigators and researchers soon confirmed that the owner of record had died in 1923, and that her husband had passed away in 1940. The couple had six children, five of whom, we confirmed, were deceased. We located the last remaining sibling, who was in his late 90s and living in Chicago. Within days, we had constructed a family tree of all living and deceased rightful heirs to the property. And within a couple of weeks, we had reviewed all the land records and all the probate cases and wills filed by the estates of deceased heirs in several states, and had compiled a complete list of the identities and contact information for all the remaining heirs who would need to sign the Deed conveying the property to the developer. Why had the family kept the property in the name of their mother and grandmother, even though she had been dead for more than 80 years? Well, at the time of her death, according to the family legend, she had gathered her husband and children around her and made them vow never to sell the land to the family that owned the adjacent property. Her husband, siblings and grandchildren kept that vow, even though the relatives alive today could not recall what had started the feud with the next-door neighbors nearly a century before. But the wait finally paid off when our client approached them with an offer to buy the land.

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