Many of the principals about will making and dying intestate (without a will) are universal but vary under European law, but usually differs in each individual EU country.
If a person dies without a will a country, state or public trustee may be appointed by the Court as the estate trustee, then any person claiming a share of that estate will have to establish they are entitled to inherit.
Most country or state organisations make every effort to trace beneficiaries using probate researchers (who may also be called probate detectives or heir hunters). Usually specialist firms are appointed on a regular basis and may work on a fee basis paid from the entire estate, or contingency where tracing fees are deductible from a beneficiaries share.
Estates held in trust sometimes are advertised seeking beneficiaries, and after varying periods of time pass to the state if no beneficiaries can be found or come forward to claim their inheritance.
Beneficiaries typically may have moved across into other countries so tracing heir to some estates is both time consuming and costly.
Dependent on the size and complexity of the estate a lawyer from the deceased persons country is best suited to handle the legal, tax and probate issues to avoid any later difficulties.
Even where a valid will exists, certain conditions may exist to make this invalid or be disputed by beneficiaries and/or the deceased's family.
The final duty of the trustee is to distribute the net estate to the lawful heirs under the law. In determining the rights of anyone to share in the estate of a deceased person without a will, the effective date is the date of death of the deceased.
Genealogist firms and probate researchers co-operate with similar organisations across the country and the world and can provide useful contacts. Their services are typically fee based or some work on a contingency fee basis where their costs are met from a beneficiaries entitlement rather than the estate as a whole.
More detailed knowledge is in our members area . Click map for detailed knowledge about the EU and its member states.
More detailed knowledge is in our members area
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