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Tracing heirs

Tracing heirs

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Heir Tracing is a service that allows you to identify the heirs of a deceased person, known as de cuius. This service provides not only the full names and biographical data of heirs, but also their current residences.

When is Heir Tracing useful?

The Heir Tracing is particularly useful in the case of hereditary succession. When an individual dies, his or her property rights, both active and passive, are transferred to his or her heirs. If the deceased had debts, these are transferred to the heirs, who will be called upon to answer for the deceased. Therefore, it is essential for the deceased's creditors to track down all the heirs to recover the sums owed.

Furthermore, Tracing Heirs can be useful in other situations, such as in the case of interruption of a trial due to the death of the party. In this case, the process must be continued against all heirs. Another example is a judgment to take possession of an asset whose owner has died. In this case, the interested party must carry out the ritual notifications to all the heirs.

How to request an heir tracing?

To request an Heir Trace, you must provide the following information relating to the deceased:

  • Full name

  • Sex

  • Place and date of birth

  • Place and date of death

  • Last residence

This data must be entered in the request form.

What does the Heir Tracing include?

The Heir Tracing allows you to identify the deceased's heirs up to the 4th degree. For each heir, the following are provided:

  • Full name

  • Date of birth

  • Current residence (if the heir resides in Italy)

If the heir resides abroad, it is necessary to carry out a further search to verify whether he is registered with AIRE and whether he resides in the EU territory. This type of activity is carried out upon prior estimate.

Which heirs are identified with the Heir Trace?

The legitimate heirs up to the 4th degree are traced, i.e. those called to succession directly by law pursuant to art. 565 of the civil code. Therefore, if a will exists, heir tracing is not able to identify the heirs indicated by the deceased. In this case, it will be necessary to carry out a specific investigation to ascertain the existence of a will.

According to the civil code, the following are called to inheritance:

  • The spouse

  • The descendants

  • The ascendants

  • The collaterals

  • The other relatives

  • The state

The estate is distributed among the heirs according to a gradual criterion, which means that the closest heirs exclude the others. Only in the event that there are no heirs indicated in the art. 565 cc, the assets will be donated to the State. For example, if the deceased left behind a spouse and children, all the assets will be divided between them. If there is only the surviving spouse, the inheritance will be entirely devolved to him; any ascendants and brothers and sisters who will receive 1/3 of the inheritance contribute with the spouse. If there are only ancestors, the assets are divided equally between the maternal and paternal lines.

An important aspect to consider in inheritance succession is the distinction between legitimate and compulsory heirs, or necessary heirs. Legitimate heirs are those legitimate heirs to whom the law guarantees a share of the inheritance, even in the presence of a will.

The heirs, according to article 536 of the civil code, are the spouse, children and ascendants. Regardless of the will of the testator, these will be entitled to a legitimate share of the inheritance.

As for the question of how to know if an heir has accepted the inheritance, the Tracing Heirs document does not provide this information. To obtain these details, you need to request a specific inheritance acceptance verification service. This service can provide the information needed to determine whether an heir has formally accepted his or her share of the inheritance.



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