WHEN SHOULD A GENEALOGIST BE APPOINTED?
After the death of a person whose posterity seems to be partial or unknown, notaires (french public officers) may commission a probate genealogist to complete or establish the descendants.
Our role then becomes that of looking for and identifying heirs or their assigns.
When there are testamentary dispositions, notaires can also appoint us to verify the absence of a forced heir.
They can also hire us to search for the owner(s) of real estate which a third party wishes to acquire.
The death of a co-owner with no known heir may quickly lead to consequences that may prove detrimental to all other co-owners: unpaid charges which are then borne by the co-owners, properties left vacant, lack of maintenance, security problems, illegal occupation …
The trustees may then appoint us to find the legitimate heirs. This approach, at no cost to the condominium, will allow them to recover condominium fees more quickly, pay creditors, and proceed with the sale of the property if this is authorised.
This procedure can be initiated after the death of a co-owner even if the Direction Nationale des Interventions Domaniales (French Agency for State Holdings) has already been contacted.
ATTORNEY SPECIALIZING IN CO-OWNERSHIP LAW
When an attorney is counsel for a co-ownership trust or property manager, or when his client is the creditor of a deceased person with no known heirs, he does not need to resort to a DIÉ manager. The attorney can appoint us to find the heirs and then settle the estate with notaire. Thus, they can quickly recover unpaid charges. Clients bear no cost for this approach, as our fees are deducted from the heirs’ share.
ATTORNEY SPECIALIZING IN FAMILY LAW
When an attorney is the correspondent of a colleague abroad, he can ask us to search for heirs in order to settle the estate, whether in France or abroad.
ATTORNEY SPECIALIZING IN REAL-ESTATE LAW
When an attorney is counsel to a real-estate developer, he can ask us to search for the owners or heirs of land that is part of a development project.
The Law of 13 June 2014, known as the Eckert Act, requires insurance companies to identify dormant life-insurance policies starting on since 01 January 2016, in order systematically to remind the holders of their existence.
Insurance companies ask us to look for the beneficiaries of
dormant life-insurance policies,before these are transferred to the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations. We secure the distribution of funds by certifying that no heir has been forgotten.
Thanks to the genealogical chart we provide, certifying the descendants and including the contact details of the heirs, insurance companies can maintain privileged contact with each of the heirs or beneficiaries.
The Law of 13 June 2014, known as the Eckert Act, requires insurance companies to identify inactive bank accounts and dormant life-insurance policies starting on since 01 January 2016, in order systematically to remind the holders of their existence.
Estates services may encounter difficulties in locating the beneficiaries of the accounts of deceased persons.
Financial institutions ask us to:
- search for the beneficiaries of dormant assets before their transfer to the Caisse des Dépôts et des Consignations,
- find the legal owners of these dormant accounts and products.
Thanks to the genealogical chart we prepare, certifying the descendants and including the contact details of the heirs, financial institutions can maintain privileged contact with each of the heirs or beneficiaries.
The appointment of a court administrator to manage estates in difficulty or to settle complex legal situations often entails the need to call on the services of our Firm to look for heirs, co-owners, or their beneficiaries.
Judicial administrators ask us to:
- have the estate liquidated by a notaire, after creditors have been satisfied;
- allow the sale of real-estate properties as soon as the heirs or co-owners have been located.
JUDICIAL REPRESENTATIVES FOR THE PROTECTION OF ADULTS
In the event of the death of a protected adult without a known heir, the judicial representative may ask that the competent District Court issue a search mandate.
Through our intervention and the production of a complete genealogical chart, the estate can be settled more quickly.
Our intervention may also be needed in the context of the sale of a property. Indeed, the adult who is the subject of a protection measure may be in joint ownership with a third party or with part of his family. It therefore becomes necessary to locate them before the property is sold.
The presence on a municipality’s territory of properties that are vacant and ownerless or have been abandoned by their owner can be a source of problems: the building can become a nuisance for the neighborhood, it may go to ruin or pose a safety risk.
The law of 13 August 2004 (Article 713 of the Civil Code) transfers the burden of finding the owners of vacant and ownerless property to the municipalities in which they are located. As a result, these properties can be incorporated into the communal domain. However, in the course of such a procedure, a preliminary investigation should be carried out to identify the owner and/or his assigns.
We carry out the investigations to locate assigns without your municipality having to pay any sum. Our firm is remunerated on the share due to the heirs upon the sale of the real-estate assets.
Any individual can call on a probate genealogist, whether it be to prove his status as an heir or, as a presumed heir, to locate for co-heirs.
Private individuals may contact us to have their own hereditary rights verified or confirmed. This can be done in the case of an estate being administered after the death of a close relative. It may concern movable (bank accounts, for example) or real-estate property the individual believes to be the owner of.
Private individuals can also hire us in other situations: upon the death of an interest co-owner whose assigns he does not know or if he is the owner of a property whose tenant dies without any succession being opened.
Real-estate agents may have difficulty identifying the owners, or heirs, of a plot which they are considering for a future project. That is when they use our services, as do many construction professionals.
Thanks to our land-search service, we can identify the owner with certainty. We can then locate his heirs, whom we can represent during the sale of the property.