Legal inheritance. Who actually has the right to the goods

Legal inheritance. You have just learned of the death of one of your relatives and are wondering if you have the status of heir in succession. The question of inheritance does not arise, or perhaps it does arise with difficulty, for the children of the deceased and their descendants in a straight line indefinitely, without distinction of sex and regardless of whether they are from the same marriage or from different marriages, who are part of the first class as established by law. It should be stated from the beginning that this class also includes adopted children, even their descendants with the rights they have through marriage, considered natural relatives.

Legal inheritance. Who actually has the right to the goods

To find out how family wealth is divided after the death of a relative and who is entitled to the assets, you need to understand what a succession or inheritance is. According to the constitution, specialized websites, lawyers, succession is the legal method by which the assets of a deceased person are passed on to other living persons, namely the heirs.

The inheritance can be legal and testamentary, being able to act separately as well as together within the same succession. More precisely, part of the wealth can be passed on to descendants through legal inheritance and part through testamentary inheritance.

Inheritance of assets in the absence of a will

When you lose a loved one, the first thing to do is to contact a notary when the heirs agree on the division of assets. Otherwise, you can appeal to the courts.

His role will be to explain to you what steps you need to take to solve the problem. First, the notary must draw up a notarial deed, establishing the assets to be divided/divisible table. Then, the successors who have the capacity of heir to the succession will be listed, a capacity determined by law, and, if there is a will, by the last wishes of the deceased present in the testamentary dispositions. The next step means determining the share that each heir has in the divisible table.

The identity and order of priority of the heirs is called legal devolution. This is analyzed in all its forms, starting from the elements regarding the opening of the inheritance, the general conditions of the right to inherit and the general principles of legal devolution. It continues with the detailed analysis of the succession rights of the relatives of the deceased, the surviving spouse, the limits of disposal of the inheritance, etc.

What is the order in which the heirs will benefit from the assets of the deceased relative

  • Their children and descendants, without any distinction between them;
  • The latter’s parents, siblings and descendants;
  • Ancestors, other than parents;
  • Collaterals other than brothers and sisters and their descendants.

Thus, the heirs closest in terms of the degree of kinship exclude the others. However, in the case of the death of an heir, the rule of representation of the inheritance allows his descendants to take his place in the estate and collect his share of the inheritance, if he does not renounce it.

The husband also occupies a special place in the order of succession. He inherits in all cases and has priority over heirs of the third and fourth order. However, he must share the property with the heirs of the first and second order, namely the children, parents or brothers and sisters of the deceased.

The surviving spouse is also granted a right to the home that was occupied as the principal residence. He has, on the one hand, a right to free use of this home and assets, issues that should be resolved with the help of a notary. The surviving spouse’s share of the estate is determined by the presence of other heirs on the day of death, such as those of the deceased’s children.

How is the matrimonial regime of the spouses defined

The surviving spouse is the one who had a conjugal relationship with the deceased. Divorced spouses have no right to the deceased’s estate and neither does the cohabitant, unless a will has been drawn up designating them as heirs. In other words, the donation was intended for them.

Who are the heirs if there is a will

Two situations are distinguished: The deceased had a will registered in the presence of the notary, and the consultation of the central file of the provisions of the last will by the notary at the opening of the succession will make it possible to establish the presence of a will. The deceased left instructions in personal belongings, written by himself, or entrusted them to an executor so that he could hand them over to the notary at his death. The latter will also have to open this will.

A will is a document that allows you to prepare your succession and organize the distribution of your property. If the deceased has made a will, he can designate the people he wishes to see inherit from his estate. The last wishes of the deceased cannot contravene legal provisions of public order. For example, the law prohibits the exclusion of certain heirs from the estate, especially legal heirs.

The legal heirs are the children and their descendants, in case of representation, or even the surviving spouse, when the deceased has no children. In contrast, the law does not grant a quota reserved for ascendants. If there is neither a descendant nor a surviving spouse, then no hereditary reservation will have to be observed.

What is the share received by the legal heirs

It is the hereditary reserve: it constitutes a fraction of the deceased’s irreducible estate that automatically goes to the legal heirs, as opposed to the available part. The deceased can freely dispose of this available portion. This means that he can, by will, bequeath all or part of the assets that constitute the available part either to an heir of the estate or to a third party of the estate.

If there are suspicions that the will was not drawn up in accordance with the legal provisions, and one of the heirs does not agree with it, its revocation can also be requested in court.

Who are the persons unworthy to inherit someone according to the Civil Code

  • Unworthy persons. The finding can be made at any time by the court or the public notary;
  • The person criminally convicted for committing a crime with the intention of killing the person leaving the inheritance;

The person criminally convicted for committing, before the opening of the inheritance, a crime with the intention of killing another successor-heir which, if the inheritance had been opened on the date of the act, would have removed or would have restricted the vocation to the inheritance of the perpetrator ;

The person criminally convicted for committing, with intent, against the bequeather serious acts of physical or moral violence or, as the case may be, acts that resulted in the death of the victim;

The person who, in bad faith, hid, altered, destroyed or falsified the will of the deceased;

The person who, through deceit or violence, prevented the one leaving the inheritance from drawing up, modifying or revoking the will.

The law also establishes the fact that the unworthy person does not have the possibility to inherit either legally or by will the person in relation to whom the unworthiness of succession is established.

A will to be legal must be a holographic will or a notarial will. The notarial one is much safer, because its authenticity is validated in the presence of a notary and no more and no less than two witnesses


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