Last updated on 14.12.2018

Court decisions

On the requirement to arrive at a fee agreement between heir locator and heir:

  • Federal Court of Justice, decision of 30 Sept. 1999 (File no.: III ZR 323/98), NJW 2000, 72 et seqq.
  • Federal Court of Justice, decision of 23 Feb. 2006 (File no.: III ZR 209/05)

A locator of commercially unknown heirs has no legal compensation claims against the heirs located by him as a result of actions without commission or unjustified enrichment. The locator of heirs can claim compensation only if he signs a fee agreement with the heir. Therefore companies in the business of locating heirs are advised to "sell" the results of their research to the entitled heirs on the basis of a fee agreement.

 

On the amount of customary fees charged by locators of heirs and the legal validity of fee agreements:


  • Regional Court Potsdam, decision of 7 Oct. 2008 (File no. 6 0 128/08)

"The court follows the adjudication of the Federal Court of Justice and the higher courts, according to which work in connection with locating heirs should be compensated on the basis of a fee of up to 30% of the net inheritance amount.

  • Higher Regional Court Brandenburg, decision of 20 May 2008 (File no. 11 U 157/07), ZErb 2008, 278 et seqq.

An indicator for the appropriateness of the fee charged by a locator of an heir is customary practice according to which customarily a fee of up to 30% of the inheritance is agreed.

  • Regional Court Aachen, decision of 20 Dec. 2007 (File no.: 9 0 301/07)

Regarding the legal validity of a fee agreement between the locator of an heir and the heir in the amount of 28% of the estate plus VAT.

  • Berlin Court of Appeal, decision of 5 Nov. 2001 (File no. 26 U 10301/00)

Regarding the legal validity of a fee agreement between the locator of an heir and the heir in the amount of 25% of the estate plus VAT.

  • Regional Court Darmstadt, decision of 29 June 2000 (File no. 13 0 15/99), NJW-RR 2001, 1015

The agreement between the locator of an heir and an heir found by him on 30%, plus VAT, of the estate assets accruing to the heir is legally valid.

This website uses cookies. By further use you agree to the use. Privacy statement.