Family Law: After my death, who inherits? 

Questions related to death and posterity are legitimate. Regardless of age, it is imperative to be concerned about the consequences of one’s death: unfortunately, we all too often tend to forget this and this article is intended to remind us of this.

 

Who inherits after my death?

The law makes a distinction between the three “relatives” of the deceased:

  • The first kinship: the children of the deceased and their descendants.
  • The 2nd kinship: the parents of the deceased and their descendants.
  • The 3rd kinship: the grandparents of the deceased and their descendants.

In the absence of a will or an inheritance agreement, the law takes the following measures:

The first heir will be the spouse or registered partner.

The first heir will be the spouse or registered partner. The estate will then go to the members of the “first kinship”, the children of the deceased and their descendants.

If there is no first relative, the inheritance will go to the parents of the deceased and their descendants.

Likewise, if there is no 2nd kinship, then the grandparents of the deceased and their descendants, the 3rd kinship, will be the heirs.

Otherwise, the property and wealth of the deceased will go to the public authorities.  

 

The law dissolves the inheritance as follows: 

If the spouse is the sole heir or in competition with the 3rd kinship, he will receive the entire inheritance.

If the spouse is in competition with the 1st kinship, then the inheritance will be divided equally (50-50).

If the spouse is in competition with the 2nd kinship, he or she will receive ¾ of the inheritance. 

 

What can I decide in my will?

Your inheritance can be freely distributed as long as it respects the hereditary reserves, i.e. values that cannot be harmed by a provision made by the deceased before his death.

Your will can :

  • Advantage the spouse in conjunction with the children;
  • Advantage one descendant at the expense of another;
  • Add an heir in addition to those automatically affected by the law;
  • Bequeath specific property to an heir or a third party;
  • Create a Foundation with the funds available;
  • Establish conditions and rules for obtaining a specific share.

It is important to be concerned about one’s estate. It is never too early to start writing it, as this article explains. A death is never easy, so the family serenity and peace of mind associated with inheritance should not be forgotten.

Estate law is a complex field, so Lawrence can help you make decisions and draft your will!

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