FAQ - Étude Généalogique Savary
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FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are you asking me for an I.D.?

When the application is submitted to the notary, he must be able to verify the identity of the heir through a formal document to ensure the validity of his civil status. This can be a copy of your driver’s license, passport or other official document containing your name, date of birth and photograph.

Can you give me the contact details of the other heirs?

We are obliged to keep confidential the information provided to us. However, we will be happy to forward your details or email to other heirs, if you ask us by official letter.

Is your company officially registered?

Yes. Business Number (BN): 1162444294

Why are estates in France settled by notaries instead of lawyers?

In civil law, notaries have extensive powers that include the preparation of wills, estate matters and property transfers. In France as in Quebec, notaries, among other assignments, are mandated to settle successions. In the US (except in Louisiana) and in the rest of Canada, where the notarial profession does not exist, this task is rather reserved for lawyers. These professionals of the inheritance law appoint us to determine and locate the heirs of a deceased person. Usually, we conduct our researches across several countries, and we incur expenses to carry out our mission. The inheritance genealogist profession is a highly specialized field. We work closely with notaries and lawyers.

What is the process of settling an estate in France?

We do all the necessary research to locate heirs and this regardless of the country in which they are located. As soon as our researches are completed, we provide the notary a certified genealogical chart. The latter can then begin the settlement of the estate. The notary then prepares an affidavit which includes among others the list of heirs.

Afterwards, the notary can evaluate the active forces (real estate, bank accounts, for example) and passive (current debts such as rent, or money owed to government agencies, for example) of the estate.

In the presence of a real estate, you will be asked for your written consent to put the property for sale. The value is determined by one or many real estate agents. When all the inheritors have returned the signed agreements, the property can then be sold on the market. The sale made, the notary calculates estate taxes (for estates in France), pays for the various debts and then shares the remaining assets following the percentage accruing to each heir.

You will receive your net share of your rights, by check or bank transfer as desired.

Who are the legal heirs on ordinary collateral line?

In such cases, the law stipulates that the estate is divided equally between the maternal line and the paternal line of the deceased.

Can you send me documents that belonged to the deceased?

Most of the time, the personal items are already removed from the deceased home. In order to free the property, furniture and other goods are sold to junk dealers or others, which adds to the assets of the estate. Generally personal papers are destroyed. However, if you inform us as soon as possible, we will try to keep the documents you describe to us.

How long does it take to settle an estate?

Please see the timeframe on the website. However, it is impossible to provide accurate estimates of time, since the settlement is based on many factors such as the number of real estate properties for sale, etc.

What is the assets of the estate?

When we receive the case from the notary or from our colleagues, we have generally only an approximate idea of the constitution of the assets of the estate. For example, that it is composed of a house and bank accounts.

We will not know the exact value of the assets until the case is submitted to the notary and that the settlement of the estate has begun.

The power of attorney you have returned to us, allows us to represent you in front of the notary and take knowledge of the different assets and asset values.

Do not forget that in the event that a liability occurs, if greater than the assets of the estate, you would never have charges or fees to pay.

Are there inheritance taxes to pay?

In the case of inheritances opened in France there are indeed inheritance taxes to pay to the French government. The rate varies depending on your degree of relationship. There are also duty remissions which are calculated based on the number of children you have. It is therefore very important to complete the civil status questionnaire we send you with the different documents.

In the case of inheritances opened in Canada, since the 80s, there is no inheritance tax. However, there is a tax on capital gains at time of death. Double taxation is prohibited by international conventions. In the case of inheritances opened in France, the inheritance taxes are paid by the notary to the Department of Revenue, as the amount you receive will be net and you do not have to pay, once again, the rights in your country of residence

Is it mandatory to completely complete the civil record questionnaire you sent me?

No. However, we must provide the notary a genealogical chart that is conform to reality and this questionnaire allows us to complete or verify the information we have gathered during our researches. This will prevent thereafter to complete documents with incorrect information.
Questionnaire must be fulfilled to the best of your knowledge.