Inherited property is divided into two categories: assets and liabilities.
The assets of the inheritance include all real estate (houses, plots, fields), bank accounts and other banking products (bonds, shares, etc.), vehicles, jewellery, etc.
The liabilities of the inheritance include the debts of the property.
If the liabilities exceed the assets of the inheritance, then the heir has the right to renounce the property within 4 months from the death of the deceased or from the date of publication of the will, if any.
The acceptance of inheritance is done silently or with a notarised document. If there is no renouncement after 4 months, it is presumed that it has been silently accepted.
With a notarised document, only the real estate of the inheritance is accepted.
When there is no will, the legal heirs that are according to the law the closest relatives of the deceased only inherit. These are the children and the spouse. If the children have died prior to the death of the deceased, their children (grandchildren) inherit in their place if they exist. If there are no children but there is a spouse, then the deceased's spouse and siblings inherit while if there is not even a spouse, then the siblings, etc. inherit.
The deceased determines in his will the heirs and their percentage of inherited property or the specific assets that inherit.
Through a will, the deceased has also the right to include persons who would not inherit without a will.
The notarial document for the acceptance of inheritance can be done at any time over the years. Each of the other co-heirs can only accept his own share.
Also, by accepting the inheritance, the heirs can accept, on behalf of the deceased, the inheritance that had been inherited by him at an earlier time and had not been accepted.
For example, when the deceased died and had in his village real estate that originally belonged to his own father but had not actively accepted the inheritance when his father passed away about 40 years ago. In this case, we can first accept on behalf of our father the inheritance that came to him at the time of our grandfather’s death. If there was also a percentage inherited by our grandmother, who later passed away, we include in the acceptance of inheritance her own share on behalf of our father and then we accept these two shares as our father's inheritance. This is a triple acceptance of inheritance because it includes three deaths and three inheritance rights.
The reason that a notarised document must be drawn up for the acceptance of an inheritance is to have consistency, continuity and accuracy in the title deeds of a property, so that in case we want to convey it to a third party there will be no doubts as to our ownership of it.
The acceptance of the inheritance is the declaration of will of the temporary heir, to whom the inheritance has been induced, that he accepts the inheritance and wishes to become a permanent heir. The acceptance of inheritance can be done either explicitly or implicitly.
An explicit acceptance of the inheritance is made by drawing up a relevant document of acceptance of the inheritance, which usually has the notarial type, since a public document is required. However, it can also be done with a statement to the Secretariat of the locally competent Court of First Instance. The consequence of this action is that the temporary heir becomes a permanent heir but does not yet acquire ownership of the inherited real estate. In order to become owner, the notarial document of acceptance of the inheritance must be registered to the locally competent Mortgage Office.
Silent acceptance of the inheritance is made in various ways that consist actions or omissions of the temporary heir. Initially, certain actions of “mixing the heir to the inheritance”, which clearly express the intention of the temporary heir to accept the inheritance, are the application for the issuance of a Certificate of Succession. This document names the applicant as the heir, the right to sue for claiming part of the inheritance that came to a third party, the submission of an inheritance tax statement, the use of an inheritance item as his own, the disposal of inheritance items, the debt forgiveness of the inheritance, etc. In addition, the omission of the temporary heir to renounce the inheritance within the prescribed short period of four (4) months from the time he learned of his right to the inheritance and its reason results in silent acceptance of the inheritance (fictitious acceptance of the inheritance), namely it is presumed that he silently accepted the inheritance.
In case the inheritance is indebted, the heir is possible to protect himself. More specifically, with the death of the deceased, his inheritance is directly transferred to his heirs and is consolidated with their personal property. Thus, after the consolidation of the properties, the unified property becomes available both for the creditors of the heir and for the creditors of the deceased. In order for the heir not to pay the creditors of the deceased with his personal property, he can accept the inheritance with the benefit of acceptance. This procedure is done with a statement submitted to the Secretariat of the locally competent Court of First Instance (based on the place of last permanent residence or temporary residence of the deceased) and for which a relevant report is drawn up.
The acceptance of the inheritance with the benefit of the acceptance results in the heir being hereinafter responsible for the debts of the inheritance up to the assets of the inheritance. This means that he is no longer responsible for the liabilities of the inheritance with his personal property but only with the assets of the inheritance and as long as this is sufficient. This way, the inheritance becomes property of the heir, however, it is made available to the creditors of the inheritance up to its assets. Each heir exercises the right of acceptance with the benefit of acceptance separately.
However, each heir who will accept the inheritance with the benefit of acceptance must meet certain obligations, otherwise he may lose this benefit and become a simple heir with all the consequences that this entails.
Specifically, he must a) create an inventory of the assets and liabilities of the property within four (4) months from the declaration of acceptance before a Notary, b) the inventory that will be drawn up should not be inaccurate or mismanage the hereditary group fraudulently and c) not to sell real estate property of the inheritance without prior court permission.
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