the legal entitlement to an estate
we offer as one of our services the procurement of inheritance certificates. while carrying out an inheritance investigations we document our findings as a matter of course, because we need to make ascertain that a person can be considered as potential heir. this process includes collecting documents.
we also offer our services to obtain documentation needed which serves as evidence for court proceedings intended to make claims to an estate when the heirs are already known but notaries or heirs encounter problems in obtaining part of the necessary documentation.
when we are presenting data from research on family history we ought to feel that with critical evaluation the results should convince not only ourselves, but also the customers and other experts with known standards of expertise. this is very different to documenting legal claims. in such cases it is in the hands of the courts or public notaries who make a decision and take responsibility for issuing a title to an estate. these officials need to be convinced.
the regulations of court proceedings demand that original documents are submitted. as a rule the court asks for officially issued birth, marriage and death certificates. these may be supplemented by family registers or other public records.
at first sight this may sound pretty simple and easy to cope with. however a number of problems may rise when dealing with concrete cases. frequently the date or the location of an event like a birth is different from what is know or one assumes to be correct. sometimes documents are missing because certain events were not recorded or the records were destroyed in war or other disasters and cannot be secured or copied any longer. especially in certain regions in poland or russia we suffer the loss of registers which recorded life cycle events. once a document can no longer be obtained it needs to be substituted by other evidence that is acceptable to the court. on occasion any number of other sources serves in a sometimes cumbersome combination of substitutes of official life records. The court needs to be convinced of the truthfulness of what is submitted and its completeness.
in this context our office offers our genealogical expertise to courts or notaries and we write reports on problems with documentation and evaluate what has been presented as evidence to the authorities.
increasingly courts and authorities demand detailed information from heirs even though these have submitted complete and proper documentation to claim their rights. in such case the authorities sometimes wish to know what kind of research has been carried out or ask that further investigations may be needed. our office can provide such research and will present its findings as a disinterested third party.