The acceptance of the inheritance is the act by which the person who has rights to an inheritance as heir, expresses his will and desire to inherit.
The heir is the one called to succeed the deceased, in a universal way. That is, he will inherit both the assets and rights, as well as the obligations and debts.
At this point, it is essential to point out, that in the case of legatees (beneficiaries of a legacy or specific thing); They are not liable for the debts of the deceased.
Types of acceptance of the inheritance: express or simple
The heirs, as recognised by the Spanish civil code, can accept the inheritance expressly or tacitly.
The express acceptance of the inheritance
It is when the heir clearly and expressly states, normally in writing, his will to accept his rights to the inheritance.
Legally, it is not required to be accepted formally, by means of a public document or before a notary. Therefore, it would be sufficient if it is done verbally. Although normally is in writing, to be able to prove it.
The tacit acceptance of the inheritance
The tacit acceptance is the one that, not having been expressly carried out, is deduced and assumed from the actions carried out by the call to inherit.
Among the actions that must be understood, as proof of acceptance:
– When the heir sells, donates or assigns his right to the inheritance.
– When the heir renounces his inheritance rights in favour of third party.
– Collect credits or pay debts of the deceased, and in general continue the management of the company or assets, etc.
On the other hand, actions that do not imply the tacit acceptance of the inheritance are those of conservation or provisional administration of the inheritance assets, etc.
Consequences of acceptance
The acceptance of the inheritance supposes succeeding the deceased, in all the assets, rights, but also in the debts and obligations.
Therefore, the heir who accepts the inheritance, will respond even with his own wealth and assets, for the debts of the deceased. This happens when the inheritance is accepted without further condition. What is known as pure and simple acceptance. Even, if it is tacit.
That is, even if you have not expressed your desire to inherit, you have to be careful with the actions you perform. As you could be liable for the debts of the deceased.
Although, the heir will not respond with his own assets, if he accepts the inheritance as the benefit of inventory.
Neither, will it be responsible for the debts of the deceased, the legatee, or beneficiary of a specific thing.
If you want specialised and expert legal advice on acceptance of the inheritance, on successions in Spain, etc, contact us.
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The information provided in this article is not intended to be legal advice, it merely conveys information related to legal issues.
Carlos Baos (Lawyer)
White & Baos.
Tel: +34 966 426 185
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