Probate Process

Frequently Asked Questions

How and why did you contact me?
Upon receiving research requests from our partners or locating potentially viable probate cases, we immediately start researching the familial history of the deceased. After having done thorough research, we have contacted you to inform you of the existing ongoing probate case and that you may be partially or fully entitled to that estate.
I have never heard about that relative, how is that possible?
Yes, this is a possibility as well. At times, it happens so that the families of relatives may have lost contact a while before due to various circumstances and the following generations might not know or remember. In such cases we rely on our research and demonstrate how families and relatives are related.
I do not know the deceased, why would I inherit?
Depending on the respective jurisdictions of countries, it is dictated by law who and how much a person can inherit. If you happen to be one of the closest living next of kin of the deceased, then by law you are entitled to a share of the intestate estate.
Why is a Hungarian firm reaching out to me if my relative died elsewhere? (US, Europe etc.)
Family Tree Ltd. works with all major heir search companies in the United States and Europe. When our partners start working on a specific case and the research leads to Europe, the former Soviet Union area, etc. locations, we provide assistance with research and all the following procedures.
Why can’t I know the exact details of the estate?
In order to protect ourselves and our work, we cannot fully disclose all the details of the case until we have signed an agreement with our clients.
How do I know that your company is not a hoax?
Family Tree Ltd. has been one of the leading probate and heir search companies in Europe with an experience of more than 30 years. Over the years we have helped hundreds of people recover their assets and they have generously provided recommendations and testimonials for us. We encourage you that you look through testimonials, get in touch with our past clients and ask for a reference if you like.
What kind of an agreement do I sign and how do you get paid for your services?
Family Tree Ltd. offers contingent-fee agreements and takes on all the costs throughout the entire process. You don’t have to pay anything to Family Tree Ltd. upfront. We receive our compensation fee only after the case has successfully completed. If for whatever reasons you don’t get any share of the estate, neither do we.
How long does the probate process take?
The time varies from case to case. It also depends on various factors such as respective jurisdiction, availability of the evidentiary documents, etc. Generally these processes take up around 1.5 – 2 years from start to finish.
How much will I inherit exactly and when will I receive my estate?
Your entitled share will be determined by the existing laws and the court. At the very beginning of the probate process, the exact value of the estate might not be known. The estate needs to be evaluated and appraised, and possible credits and debts (if any) need to be deducted. These processes are typically handled by the court and court-appointed parties. The amount of share you are entitled to depends on the level of kinship and the number of the other heirs entitled to the same estate. Once the court proceedings are finalized, the court distributes the estate and that is when you will receive your inheritance.
Is it possible to inherit debt?
No. Usually, the court distributes the estate after all the debts have been paid off.
Is the inheritance personal property or real estate? What happens to the decedent’s personal property?

The estate is a set of assets in which both real estate and movable property are included. In addition, it may include claims, debts, property rights (e.g.copyright). It does not belong to the estate, but unless otherwise specified, the heir may claim the reversion (e.g. insurance, pension fund etc.) The private property of the deceased is given to the heir in the probate proceedings. This is merely a finding that, with the death of the deceased, the ownership of the inheritance has transferred to the heir. In some situations, the real estate might be sold during the probate process in order to preserve its market-value at that given time. However, if the real estate is not sold yet and the heirs would like to sell it, then Family Tree Ltd. will assist with the sale of the real estate.

Write to us!



International Probate Research Bureau

Co-founder of Hungarian Heir Search Association

(Családfa Kft. is registered under number 01 09 673 772 in the Court of Registration, Budapest)

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Our Office:

Bécsi út 83, Budapest, Hungary 1036

Mailing Addresse:

1301 Budapest, Pf. 72.


(+36 1) 453 7020



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