An estate may be “intestate”, or in other words the deceased may have not left a will, and in this case the heirs’ order is determined by the Civil Code. The deceased may also have bequeathed directly to you movable or immovable property.
In the case of a succession bestowed by the terms of a will, the deceased is not obligated to provide information about the legatees, so much that when reading the will, many legatees are completely unknown to the notary, the liquidator and even the family.
When there is no will, and therefore no heir is known, occurs the problem of the distribution of assets left by the deceased. The notary or lawyer may be asked to prepare a “declaration of heirship”, which requires to know the quality and order of beneficiaries. The notary or lawyer then contacts a Probate Genealogist (aka “Estate Genealogist”) in order to establish and locate the beneficiaries.