Most inheritances are settled without the intervention of a Genealogist,
with only around two per cent requiring our services.
Devolution is often straightforward
and the family records book is enough to confirm a declaration of beneficiaries.
Notaries Public may also have former deeds in their keeping, allowing them to compile a genealogy and find heirs.
In other cases, uncertainty exists and the Notary Public entrusts the establishment or confirmation of devolution to a Genealogist.
In this sense, cousins may be known on the maternal side whilst there is no information on the paternal side.
Even if cousins are known on both sides, it may be necessary to ensure they are the closest and also the only ones.
The task becomes seriously complicated when it involves searching for the children of first cousins
who are related five times removed and place them on the same side as the children of great-uncles and aunts whose kinship is also established five times removed.
In this way, with inheritances
where cousins over five times removed are involved, it is essential to carry out genealogical searches across four different families, namely the paternal and maternal grandparents on both sides.
Genealogy Tree certification that, in the end, only shows some beneficiaries, fails to reflect the extent of a task
that required weeks or months of research to rule out the entitlement to inherit of what is sometimes a huge number of "sixth heads", this professional term being used to designate great uncles and aunts.
Genealogists’ traditional area of work, namely, the collateral line, has extended over recent years
where today, direct line verification involves over a third of cases. The most frequent family composition leads the Notary Public, especially when the family records book is incomplete, to verify the descent of every union as well as the existence or not of natural children.
It should be pointed out that these verification tasks are far from simple formalities,
and require travel across the country to check public records in all regions involved; they also involve real risks as it is often true that it is easier to find heirs than prove there are no more.
Collaboration with Genealogists is also required for the ever more numerous inheritances involving overseas individuals
where searches are carried out either directly by travelling to the countries concerned or by using the Chamber's ever-expanding network of overseas partners.
it is useful to point out that the work of genealogists is often limited to simply finding addresses for a flat fee when a beneficiary is identified and there is no need for a tracing agreement.