Our company receives assignments from foreign partners, mostly from the USA and the UK, if they need research to be done in Central and/or Eastern Europe.
If someone dies without a will or a surviving spouse and children, more distant relatives are entitled to inherit. These relatives are usually unknown to the authorities, and thus they have to be located first in order to access their share of the inheritance. The first step each of our partners takes is to examine the family’s origins. If the family’s history leads back to Central and/or Eastern Europe, our company is authorized to locate the lawful heirs. In most cases, only a minimal amount of information is available to us at the beginning of each search, since the ancestors have long left their original homeland.
This process can take years to complete, and may involve significant costs. It is imperative that we conduct our research according to the inheritance laws of the country where the probate was formed, usually where the deceased had lived. These laws can differ from country to country, and each country can regulate the order of inheritance; even the laws of each of the 50 US States can differ. The states do not only decide differently on the degree of relationship entitled to inherit, but also on what types of documents are accepted in the verification process. After receiving a case from a partner, we immediately begin with the research.
In each case, finding the heir takes a significant amount of experience, time and financial investment. We are ready to provide these in each instance in the hope of our common success. After identifying the heirs, we offer them a completely risk-free contract, which states that our company is only entitled to compensation for our work up until this point and until the end of the probate process, if the heir has received his or her share of the estate. Family Tree Ltd. bears all risks from the beginning of the process until its very end. The clients do not bear any financial burden during the process.
If we are unable to obtain for our clients their share of inheritance, they have no financial obligation to us. All this is detailed in the contingency agreement we offer.
Naturally, however, our work does not end when the heir signs our contingency agreement. We have to collect proof documents, which must be officially translated into a given language, and then have them certified, etc. In many cases, it is necessary to appear in court in person to testify. All expenses are paid by our company.
We treat all information confidentially and can share it only with courts and other authorized entities.
In every single case only a lawyer recognized by the local Bar Association may act. The lawyers we recommend specialize in probate, and have several decades of experience. In order to answer all questions and requests, the lawyer is at the client’s disposal during the entire procedure. The lawyer’s fees are covered by Family Tree Ltd. and our foreign partner(s).
When the estate is divided among the lawful heirs, the lawyer guarantees that each heir will get the share he or she is entitled to.
The process is time-consuming. After signing a contingency agreement, a case usually takes one and a half or two years to be completed.
The fact that our agreement states that Family Tree Ltd. takes on all risks and covers all costs is a guarantee for the fast, efficient and reliable representation we provide to our clients.
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