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the best guarentee
for your estate

étude généalogique

The main vocation of the firm, a major player in heir finding since 2001, is to find and represent heirs in inheritance matters.

Since 1972, with surprising speed, we have seen the fabric of our civil society unravel: the strong links we once had are coming undone, and cracks are appearing. Suddenly, there were fewer and fewer marriages and more common-law unions, divorces, single-parent homes, children born out of wedlock, and single people. This has been an unprecedented change.
Evelyne SULLEROT, “Pour le meilleur et sans le pire” [For the Best and without the Worst], Fayard, 1984

years of
inheritance cases
around the world
+ 1 %
of estates entrusted
since 2018
1 %

what we do

Today, with many more divorces, blended families, increasing mobility, different surnames within the same family and increasing life expectancy, identifying heirs of a deceased person or the owners of property is not so easy.

However, the notary in charge of the estate is required to identify all heirs of the deceased. However, both human and material resources are often lacking when it comes to finding them. That is why genealogists are use to.

our expertise


Verify the order of succession and the absence of any compulsory heirs. This is important when there is a doubt regarding the number and identity of the heirs. The estate cannot be settled without all heirs being clearly identified.


Investigate all potential heirs of a deceased person and establish their respective qualities. This assignment is like the job of a detective, which is the most well-know aspect of our work. The Firm deploys all its material and human resources to trace them (see our case studies).


Represent the heirs in the settlement of the estate to best protect their interests when liquidating assets and settling liabilities. This legal dimension is entrusted to highly-qualified advisers, who have a notary diploma.

a professionnal team

To carry out our assignments, we have: A team of experienced investigators/A department dedicated to the settlement of estates/A legal department comprising notaries and lawyers who are specialists in their field.

our garantees

Since 2017, Etude Généalogique Guenifey has been the first and only firm to offer trusts,
the most transparent and secure model available for notaries and heirs.

We have also reduced payment terms for heirs to around 8 days, the shortest in the profession!

Finally, we also draw strength from the fact that we have a large financial and administrative department to support heirs in their procedures.

The trust fund, defined as the “queen of securities” by Doctrine, enables our client’s funds, the “inherited funds”, to be secured in a dedicated escrow account, separate from the firm’s own accounts. They benefit from full legal protection, even down to the last Euro.

When a genealogist finds an heir, he invites him/her to sign a succession tracing contract. Through this contract, the genealogist undertakes to reveal the identity of his/her deceased relative and his/her share of the estate. This contract also defines the remuneration of the genealogist in return for the succession tracing.

The genealogical firm only receives the set remuneration and never has access to the funds due to the heirs.

Payment terms for our heirs reduced to a minimum, 8 days on average.


There are two types of fees

Proportionnal fees

in the event of succession tracing depending on :

The degree of kinship and the number of heirs

The geographical location of the investigation to be carried out

The number of procedures to be carried out
(very common surname, access to documents, etc.)

The value of the assets of the estate

Our fees are calculated based on the portion due to the heir. If the estate has more liabilities than assets, the genealogical firm shall retain any advances paid.



Fixed-rate fees

for verifying the order of succession :

When the genealogist is mandated by the notary to verify or validate an order of succession, the remuneration consists of a fixed-rate fee defined in advance.

Once the genealogist has completed his/her assignment, the invoice is sent to the notary, who shall settle it using the funds held for the estate.

our clients

Different professions use our professional teams



To find heirs, legatees and beneficiaries via a mandate to search for heirs and verify the order of succession.



To search for heirs or beneficiaries of inactive bank accounts or safes.



To ascertain or verify the rights of their client or the opposing party.

Town Halls

Town Halls

To find the owners or heirs of property presumed to have no owner and to carry out preliminary investigations for the procedure to declare a vacant property.



To find the beneficiaries of dormant life insurance policies.



To find heirs of deceased co-owners or those who have not paid their co-ownership charges

private individuals

You can call on the expertise of the Guenifey Genealogical Study in the following cases:



To verify their inheritance rights.



To verify the ownership of property.



To find a member of their family.