Our commitments and fees
Our commitments to efficiency and quality
We are committed to mobilizing the best human and technological resources to provide you faster genealogical research, the highest level of customer service and the shortest possible turnaround times.
Expertise and rigor
- More than 160 driven staff members
- Our staff are possessed of expertise and have professional backgrounds in areas that complement each other such as probate genealogists, legal researchers, historians, ancestry, and international archives experts.
- Legal and estate tax expertise.
Local geographic coverage and speed
- 27 offices in France and 6 abroad
- A single, dedicated contact to assist you throughout the entire process
- Backed by our integrated international research team of multilingual experts, we can conduct genealogical research and locate and meet heirs rapidly on all five continents.
Operational excellence and technological innovation
- ADD Data: a proprietary genealogical database with more than 500 million digitized and indexed records
- Digital genealogical chart (TGD)
- Electronic document signature
- ISO 9001 certified since 2008
The fees for ADD Associés’ probate genealogists are calculated in two ways, depending on the services offered. They are stated in advance, guaranteeing clarity and transparency for everyone concerned.
Proportional fees are calculated based on a percentage of the heir’s share of an estate. These fees are set forth in the disclosure of inheritance rights contract or in an agreement as a means of justifying the heirs’ rights, signed by the heir. Since 1866, the disclosure of inheritance rights contract submitted by the probate genealogist to heirs has been validated in French case-law. Proportional fees vary depending on the degree of kinship.
Proportional fees apply when:
- The research undertaken has led to the disclosure of rights to an heir or beneficiary of rights
- The investigations conducted have made it possible to substantiate the inheritance rights of an heir or beneficiary.
The term flat-rate fee is used when the payment for the services provided by the genealogist is set at a flat-rate depending on the difficulty and scope of the investigations conducted. The value of the estate assets is also taken into account.
Flat-rate fees apply when genealogical research has confirmed and validated list of the entitled beneficiaries to known heirs.
Ethics, guarantees and certification are the backbone of our DNA
Because matters of succession and inheritance are both complicated and sensitive, trust and ethics are critical to ADD Associés’ approach.
- We play an active role in the bodies that regulate our profession, which is itself governed by a code of conduct and a code of ethics
- We provide stringent guarantees that far exceed the required standards
- We have our working methods validated by certifying bodies.
Probate genealogy, a regulated profession
Our probate genealogy business is governed by Article 36 of Law no. 2006-728 of June 23, 2006, reforming French inheritance laws.
“Except in the case of estates subject to vacancy or escheat, no one may undertake or assist in the search for an heir in an open estate or one in which an asset has been omitted at the settlement of the estate unless he is in possession of a power of attorney given for this purpose. The power of attorney may be granted by any person who has a direct and legitimate interest in the identification of heirs or in the settlement of the estate.”
The partners and associates of ADD Associés hold special professional credentials and benefit from specific authorizations issued by the Service Interministériel des Archives de France (the French national archives service) and the Procureur de la République of the Tribunal Judiciaire de Paris (the Public Prosecutor’s Office of the Paris Court of Justice). These authorizations allow us to consult and obtain copies of documents concerning the civil status of people under the age of 75.
Firm guarantees for our partners and clients
When a genealogist gets involved to certify the list of entitled beneficiaries, he or she assumes legal and financial liability by providing the liquidating notary with a certified table confirming the list of the entitled beneficiaries, or confirmation that lays out our findings. Members of the Chambre syndicale des Généalogistes de France take out professional liability insurance.
ADD Associés has supplemented these mechanisms with additional guarantees that provide essential protection for everyone concerned, whether an industry professional or an heir.
- Professional Liability Insurance (MMA IARD No. 127120688)
- Financial coverage (with AMLIN INSURANCE SE No. 2018PFC002)
- Secure third-party account with Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations
- Annual independent audit by KPMG
- ISO 9001 certification since December 17, 2008.
Professional ethics, the very core of our business
ADD Associés has made a major contribution to making probate genealogy a profession that offers every possible guarantee to those who call on our services.
Since its inception, ADD Associés has made a major contribution to the regulation and supervision of the profession, notably under the leadership of Antoine Djikpa, Partner, and currently the group’s General Manager. He was also appointed Honorary President of Généalogistes de France. Antoine Delabre is currently its Vice-President.
Given the international scope of the profession, ADD Associés was also one of the founding members of the international association IAPPR (The International Association of Professional Probate Researchers, Genealogists & Heir Hunters).
In accordance with Article R 612.1 of the French Consumer Code, all consumers have the right to have recourse, free of charge, to a consumer rights mediator with a view to the amicable resolution of a dispute between consumers and industry professionals.
The professional genealogy sector has set up a consumer ombudsman to promote the amicable resolution of contractual disputes concerning contract performance or the provision of services. To this end, the Union des généalogistes de France appointed Gérard Gaucher as sectoral ombudsman for genealogists in France, a position he’s held since July 12, 2016.
The ombudsman has his own website containing his contact details for consumers who wish to contact him, as well as for professional genealogists involved in mediation processes.