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CASE STUDY: Finding Heirs In A Quiet Title Action

Recently, our office was asked by an attorney to help locate heirs for the purpose of clearing title to a piece of property.

In this matter, the last property owner, a couple who had been married for over fifty years, purchased property from a land developer and then built their dream home.

When they both passed away, the family attempted to sell the property but realized that there was an error in the title paperwork which occurred during the original purchase, and there was an encumbrance on the deed, and therefore the property could not be conveyed until the title was cleared.

We went to work and learned that the land was initially owned by a man who, to make our search more difficult, only used his first initial and middle initial together with a common last name. After a thorough and exhaustive genealogical search and investigation, we were able to identify who the owner was, and then located the city where he resided, which was many states away from the subject property. Once we determined who we were seeking, where he was from, and who his family was, we focused upon locating all of his descendants. We ultimately learned that the man we were searching for had died. His wife had predeceased him, and he was survived by one child, a daughter. That daughter married and then died having been survived by one son. The son was able to work with our attorney client and resolve the outstanding matter utilizing the certified records and documents that we provided to his firm including an Affidavit of Due and Diligent Search.

Our work, together with the attorney allowed the attorney's client to ultimately dispose of the property with a clean chain of title.

In fact, many years ago, we provided similar services to the United States government when they were acquiring property for the Massachusetts national seashore project.

Categories: Case Study
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