Articles of association


The VDEE pursues the goal to be on board with its members, especially to advance and develop a trusty co-operation. Furthermore, it should represent the interests of the professional group to the outside, especially at the political level and towards official, public and religious bodies. The Association of German Heir Finders should also be a contact point for authorities, institutions and pretenders to estates.

Table of Contents:

§ 1 Name, place of business, accounting year
§ 2 The purpose of the association
§ 3 Members of the association
§ 4 Termination of the membership
§ 5 Membership fee
§ 6 Elements of the association
§ 7 General assembly
§ 8 Tasks of the general assembly
§ 9 The board
§ 10 Sanctions for infringements
§ 11 Minutes
§ 12 Association dissolution

§ 1 Name, place of business, accounting year

(1)    The name of the association is: „Association of German Heir finders, registered association (VDEE®) e.V.“.

(2)    The association has after intended registration in the register of associations the name affix „registered association“, in the shortened form „e.V.“.

(3)     The association has its headquarters in Berlin.

(4)     The business year is the calendar year.

§ 2 The purpose of the association

The purposes of the association are:

(1)    reinforcing of the professional image and the profession of heir finders in particular by:

  • collective appearance and influence towards policy, legislation governing authority, judiciary and bar associations,
  • coordination of lobby work,
  • appraisal and information of the club members about present legal, political and economical developments with points of contact to heir finding,
  • common public relations,
  • creation of a committed behavioural and codex of honour for the heir finders,
  • development of the competence and advanced training of its members,

(2)    exchange and co-operation with European and international associations of heir finders.

§ 3 Members of the association

(1)    Natural persons as well as corporate bodies that have their company headquarters in Germany can join the association.

(2)    The member's company has to meet prudent businessman's requirements.

(3)    The membership will be obtained at written suggestion of a member directed to the association's board and by majority approval of the association members

a) by decision of the general assembly;


b) on written request of the executive board according to section 9 par. 4 of the articles of association by written declaration of consent of the members (letter, fax and e-mail). Declaration of consent is to be delivered within 28 days from the date of the demand of the board. For punctuality is considered the date of receipt by the board.

A legal claim to membership does not exist. As club members can only become natural persons and corporate bodies that meet the following requirements:

  • companies accepting the code of honour according to section 2 (1);
  • no insolvency proceedings during the previous entrepreneurial work on private or business assets of the inscription candidate or his legal representative and no listing in the debt register;
  • presentation of an affidavit by the inscription candidates, that no conviction for assets and tampering exists against him;
  • at least a secondary school certificate and a completes vocational training;
  • a minimum of 5 years experience as a professional genealogist/heir finder or in a comparable job;
  • skill for coherent actions in the framework of investigations, argumentation of succession and economical disbursement of the estate;
  • a minimum of 30 settled cases.

§ 4 Termination of membership

The membership, and thus the exercise of the rights of the membership end with withdrawal, exclusion from association, sale of the enterprise, insolvency as well as termination / cessation of the business activity. The withdrawal of a member is to be declared in writing and is only possible subject to a notice period of three months at the end of a calendar year.

The exclusion from the association is made by a unanimous decision of the board, if a member has seriously infringed the objectives and interests of the association despite repeated warnings (eg repeated violation of the code of honor), or in spite of a reminder with the member's contribution five months after the due date. The Member must be given an opportunity to comment before the decision is taken. A complaint may be lodged against the exclusion decision within a period of four weeks after notification, which is decided by the next annual meeting. The remaining rights and obligations of the member shall be suspended until the member meeting following expulsion.

§ 5 Membership fee

The amount of member's fee, the entrance fee and the shares in the costs are decided by the general assembly and and ruled in membership fee regulations. The members' fees are to pay after confirmation of the membership and followed annually and in advance. In delay with payment the board can limit the rights of the members concerned. There is no claim for refund of already settled payments.

§ 6 Elements of the association

The elements of the association are:

(1)    the general assembly and

(2)    the board.

§ 7 The general assembly

(1)    Each association member has a vote in the general assembly.

(2)    The general assembly will be convoked by a letter of the board with information about the agenda. The term of invitation amounts four weeks. The time begins to run the following day after sending the invitation letter. It is in force the date of the postmark. The invitation letter is having been received by the member, if it is sent to the last address notified by the member. The invitation can also be sent in other way (for instance by e-mail, Fax).

(3)    An extraordinary assembly is to be called up if the association interests require it or at least ¼ members apply for it.

(4)    By proper invitation the general assembly has a quorum, on condition that at least half of the members is present. Substitution is allowed. The board chairman chairs the general assembly, in his absence his deputy. If both are absent, the general assembly elects from its midst a chairperson. Decisions, if no other is determined by the general assembly, are voted openly by raising a hand and ordinary resolution. At a parity of votes an application is considered as rejected.

(5)    To the following decisions a majority of 1/4 of the voices delivered by the general assembly is necessary, but at least the majority of all association members:

  • Change of the Articles of association,
  • Decisions about the dissolution of the association,
  • Discharge and changes of the behavioural code or code of honour,
  • Decisions about complaints to decisions of the board,
  • A voting out of a board member,
  • Exclusion of a member.

§ 8 Tasks of the general assembly

(1)    The general assembly as the highest decision-making organ of the association is fundamentally responsible for all tasks, as far as certain tasks are in accordance with this statute and cannot be transferred to another association organ.

(2)    The general assembly chooses the board. There are persons chosen who acquire most votes on themselves. The election takes place secretly by means of ballot or by decision of the general assembly with raising a hand.

(3)    The general assembly accepts the annually business report submitted by the board and the audit certificate of the accountant and discharges the board. Particularly the annual financial statement and the annual report is for making decision concerning the approval and the discharge of the board is to submit in written form. It appoints two accountants, who belong neither to the board nor a committee appointed by the board and also are not office workers of the association, to check the accounting including annual financial statement and to present the results before the general assembly. The accountants have access to all accounting records and invoices of the board.

§ 9 The board of the association

(1)    The board is constituted of three persons. The term is a four-year one. A re-election is possible. The acting board members remain in each case at the end of their term as long as successors were chosen.

(2)    The chairperson is determined by the meeting of the members in a special ballot.

(3)    The board decides on all running association matters (management) so far there is no decision by the general assembly needed. The general assembly decides fundamental matters. The board implements the decisions of the general assembly.

(4)    The board is judicially and out-of-court represented by two board members. Power of sole representation with waiver of restrictions in § 181 of the Civil Code can be confered by order of the general assembly.

(5)    The board can appoint by decission special representatives who lead particularly the running business of the association, perfom lobby work decide or are charged with public relations.

(6)    The board can itself decide statute changes, which are required by controlling, court and finance authorities for formal reasons. These statute changes must be disclosed in the next general assembly.

§ 10 Sanctions for infringements

According to the principles of the general assembly and in accordance to § 2 (1) code of honour the board of the association initiates proceedings in order to regulate anf clarify freely and out-of-court offences by conversations and by fair negotiation of mutual agreement.

Each is entitled to submit complaints to the board about infringements of the principles named in the code of honour. The board can also initiate proceedings itself. It is competent to direct complaints concerning provisions which infring the competition law to another association which is fitted out with association complaint competence.

Complaints are to be directed in written form with information about the complainant and the case to:

Verband Deutscher Erbenermittler (VDEE®) e.V.
Templiner Straße 10
10119 Berlin

Anonymous complaints are not treated.

§ 11 Minutes

The resolutions of the General Assembly shall be recorded in a protocol, which shall be signed by the meeting chairman and the minutes of the meeting, stating the place and date as well as the voting result.

The decisions of the Management Board and the General Meetings are recorded in writing and are available to the members for inspection.

§ 12 Association dissolution

  • In the event of dissolution of the Association, the General Meeting shall decide by a simple majority on the use of the remaining assets after the liquidation.
  • Unless otherwise decided by the Annual General Meeting, the members of the Management Board shall be jointly authorized liquidators.


Verband Deutscher Erbenermittler (VDEE®) e.V. • Kyffhäuserstr. 11 • 10781 Berlin
Tel.: 030 - 246 251 62 • Fax: 030 - 246 251 63 • E-Mail: