Definition

 

 
  • The legal definition of heir finding is the search for related persons of a descendant who, based on the legal heritable succession, may be considered as the descendant’s beneficiaries. In most cases, this requires complicated genealogical research involving a combined search for ancestors and descendants. Heir finders thus find widely dispersed family members (German law is infinite when it comes to legal heritable succession) with the aim to bring assets and heirs together.
  • Since the establishment of the BGB [German Civil Code] in German inheritance issues, heir finding has belonged to the duties and responsibilities of the probate court. Heir finders fulfil a societal function, i.e. they warrant the right to own property and the law of succession from Section 14 of the German Constitutional Law. In many cases their activities are the basis which enables the air to exercise these basic laws.
  • Neither in Germany nor abroad the vocation of the „heir finder“ is an acknowledged skilled occupation. For decades, this vocation has developed due to historical occurrences and the subsequent practice related necessities. These necessities for the heir finding results from the legal regulation that a community of heirs forms a joint ownership which can only act in unity. Therefore, absolutely complete investigations by professional heir finders are often inevitable.
  • Heir finding provides the proof for the legal claim of so far unknown persons involved. It does enables the designated area to obtain a certificate of inheritance by this proof the correctness of which enjoys public faith.
  • An integral part of our research is evidence / documentation of heritable succession with the aid of public documents and other proof of inheritance. Heir finders provide evidence for the legal claim of unknown heirs. With this documentation they make it possible for the heir to obtain a German Certificate of Inheritance which is required by German law.
  • An heir finder's activities are to obtain information and clarify matters; heir finders are thus not legal advisors. Heir finders are not entitled to collect debts.
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