Inheritance – accept or decline. What to do?

Inheritance – accept or decline. What to do?

When a family member passed away, there are several legal issues that need to be addressed and decisions to be made. One of these decisions is the question of acceptance or rejection of inheritance.

To be an heir, it is necessary to be considered by the Law as such, namely, to be spouse, children, grandchildren, parents or grandparents, and eventually brothers, nephews, uncles or cousins. Or, if there is a will, have been indicated as heir in this document.

The first idea to have is that no one is forced to accept an inheritance. But once you accept the status of heir, this decision becomes final and can not be revoked. Therefore, it is very important that the heir thinks with serenity and clarity about what is best for him.

Acceptance of inheritance can be express or implied and must be exercised within 10 years from the date of knowledge that is heir.

What is implicit and expressed acceptance of inheritance?

Any physical or legal act that may indicate that the heir intends to become the owner or holder of the deceased’s property.
For example, the relative begins using the car of the deceased, using the keys of the deceased’s house to pick up mail or simply watering the garden and checking the state of conservation of the property. All these acts practiced by the heir are a true declaration that he accepts the inheritance and starts to exercise the possession of the inheritance.

In the express acceptance, the heir declares in written document that it is his intention to accept the inheritance. To do this, it is sufficient to send a letter to the representative of the heirs or to the executor of the will.

The refusal of inheritance what is it?

When the heir does not want to accept the inheritance, what does he have to do? He will have to declare by written document that he refuses the inheritance. The refusal of the inheritance is irrevocable, that is, the decision can not be changed later. Therefore, it is convenient for the heir to think well before making the decision.

The heir who refuses the inheritance, if he chooses, may appoint another relative also heir in concrete, who will gain his share in the inheritance. If he says nothing in the act of refusal, his share of the inheritance will be distributed to the next heir (or heirs) in the line of succession. For example, when the father dies, the son can refuse the inheritance indicating his brother as beneficiary of the inheritance (refusal with mention of the heir); or if he says nothing in the refusal, his share of the inheritance will be attributed to his son (grandson of the deceased).

For the decision to accept or deny inheritance, it is important to think that this decision is irrevocable and that it will include all inheritance. This means that the decision must consider all the assets (real estate, automobiles, bank deposits, jewelry, furniture, etc.) and all liabilities (all debts and charges). It is not possible to accept only real estate inheritance and to deny inheritance debts. If the liability exceeds the asset, the heir only has to pay the liability up to the value of the asset.

In order to better understand it, we present the following example. The inheritance liability amounts to € 50,000.00 and the inheritance asset only reaches the total value of € 30,000.00. The heir will only be called to pay the debts of the inheritance up to the total value of € 30,000.00. The remaining € 20,000.00 of liabilities will remain unpaid, without the heir having to pay with his own assets. The personal assets of the heir will never be used for the payment of inheritance debts.

Considering that this issue is important, it is advisable to follow up by an Advocate who will advise the heir to make the most appropriate decision.