Your question – our answers

Locating heirs

  • What is Probate Research?

    Probate research in essence means tracing people who are entitled to a share in an estate. When an estate is filed with a probate court, we work to locate missing heirs, and we research family history to identify unknown heirs
  • Who is entitled to receive the unclaimed assets when their original owner had already passed away and did not leave a will?

    In most countries, the deceased’s spouse, children or blood relatives who are descended from the deceased’s grandparents on either his mother or father’s side of the family are entitled to receive the assets.
  • Why have I been contacted now?

    An estate has been filed with some or all of the proper heirs unknown. This is a surprisingly frequent occurrence. We research into the history of the estate family that has identified you as an heir.
  • Why can't you tell me all the details of the estate?

    Generally, we refrain from revealing details about the estate until all heirs have signed an agreement with us or with the clients we represent. This is to ensure that we are able to recuperate our research time and costs.
  • How did you learn of this estate?

    Estates are referred to us through courts, attorneys, administrators, and our international network of researchers and associates.
  • What will this cost me?

    Until and unless you actually receive assets from the estate, you will owe nothing. When the court distributes the estate, you only owe us the fees based upon the agreement you signed with us.
  • If I do get something from the estate, how do I know that your commission won’t swallow up most or all of my inheritance?

    Our commission is based on a fixed percentage of whatever you receive. It cannot come to more than the inheritance you receive.
  • What about the estate debt?

    You have no liability in that area. The Court or the administrator pays estate debt before distribution. If debts exceed assets, the estate is declared insolvent. In that case, you would receive no assets, but you would never bear any liability.
  • If, for any reason, I never receive these assets, what will I owe you?

    Absolutely nothing. We are paid only if you receive assets from the estate. Our clients are never asked to pay any fee in advance. If you receive no assets, you pay nothing.
  • When will I receive these assets?

    The answer depends, in large part, on where the estate has been filed. Court scheduled and statutory time requirements vary from one jurisdiction to another. In most cases, distribution is made within 18-24 months. In larger jurisdictions, however, it may take much longer.
  • Who determines my share?

    In most cases, the court determines your share based on your relationship to the decedent, the total number of claimants, and the laws of descent and distribution of the state or foreign country where the case is being heard.
  • What if I do nothing?

    In most jurisdictions, if you do nothing, the shares of the estate which may be rightfully yours could be turned over to the state as escheated funds, or those unclaimed shares may be distributed to the heirs who are known to the court.

Portuguese

  • Is Portugal a member of the European Union?

    Yes, Portugal has been a full member of the Union since 1986.

  • Is it necessary to know Portuguese in order to receive Portuguese citizenship?

    No.

  • Will I need to fly to Portugal to receive citizenship?

    No.

  • How much in fees and charges must an applicant for Portuguese citizenship pay?

    The Jewish community in Portugal charges EUR 500. The Portuguese Ministry of Justice charges EUR 250. In addition, there are charges for notary verification and notarial translation of various documents. The amount of these charges is EUR 550. Occasionally, it is also worthwhile to undergo DNA testing, the cost of which is EUR 100, and a genealogical opinion (family history), the cost of which varies from case to case.

  • If I pay EUR 500 to the Jewish community, is a member of my family eligible for a discount in the amount of the commission for him?

    Yes, provided that the application for citizenship is submitted jointly and on the same date, each additional participant must pay EUR 250 instead of EUR 500. A family member is anyone having an immediate relationship to the applicant, such as brother / sister of brother/sister, son / daughter of parent and the parent of son / daughter.

  • Who can receive Portuguese citizenship under the new law?

    Any applicant who is Jewish, above the age of 18, has no criminal record, has ancestors who were among the Jews expelled from Spain and an orientation to Portugal.

  • Are minor children eligible for Portuguese citizenship?

    Under the new law, only those who are 18 and older are eligible to receive Portuguese citizenship. However, a parent of minor children who was granted Portuguese citizenship under the new law may arrange citizenship for his minor children under other Portuguese citizenship laws.

  • Why should an attorney be retained to arrange Portuguese citizenship?

    Not every attorney is an expert in arranging Portuguese citizenship and masters the intricacies of the process and law. An expert attorney knows how to maximize the applicant’s chances of success. He knows which evidence to locate and present (and which NOT to present) so that he ultimately saves the client time and money in the citizenship arrangement proceeding.

  • How much time does the process for receiving Portuguese citizenship take?

    The time varies from case to case and from period to period in accordance with the workload at the Portuguese ministries. In any event, the estimated length of time for receipt of citizenship is one year to 18 months.

  • Is a person holding Portuguese citizenship eligible to receive a Portuguese passport?

    Yes. In this matter, there are no exceptional cases.