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Are debts inherited?
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Are debts inherited?

Normally, when a person is called to receive an inheritance, they ask us if the debts are inherited. As a general rule, debts are inherited. When we accept an inheritance, all assets are accepted, but also the obligations of the deceased, in such a way that an inheritance is likely to involve more expenses than property benefits.

The inheritances of so-called distant relatives with whom you did not have much connection can be “poisoned gifts”. For this reason, many heirs resign to avoid problems. In fact, the most frequent reason for giving up an inheritance is precisely this: not having to face obligations. The essential question is to take good advice before making the decision to accept or renounce an inheritance. For this, we notaries are available to all citizens and provide impartial and free advice.

Accept or resign?

The Law offers us three options: accept the inheritance, repudiate it or accept it for the benefit of inventory, but it must be very clear that, if we decide to resign, this act is irrevocable. We will not be able to argue after the fact that we were wrong in making the decision. As the signature of a public deed before a notary is required, the latter will insist on this very relevant feature. However, if you resign, the advantage is that you will not be able to claim anything from us for the debts or obligations of the deceased, even if we are the closest relative of the deceased. And, ultimately, this responsibility would be borne by the State.

We have already talked in this blog about the difference between an heir and a legatee, a difference that is fundamentally in that the heir is liable for the debts of the deceased with his own estate and the legatee does not. If you accept the inheritance, it will imply that you will distribute the assets, rights and / or shares with the rest of the heirs, but you will also have to pay the debts proportionally and, within six months, pay the taxes, without forgetting that the guarantees from the deceased are also inherited.

Acceptance of the inheritance is a good option if you know what the real financial situation of the deceased was. In Spain, for example, many people have bought an apartment with a mortgage loan; If a person dies, his heirs must also pay that debt, but his inheritance could be financially profitable if the market value of the apartment is higher than the existing debt on the date of the death of the family member.

The option to accept the inheritance for the benefit of inventory is useful if the deceased's estate is not known exactly. In this case, the debts would be settled first and, if there was anything left, the heir, or heirs, would receive the remaining sum. The main advantage is that the heir will never have to use his personal assets to settle those debts. My colleague Francisco Rosales wrote a very interesting article on this topic. You can read it in this link.

For all the above, before making the decision to accept or renounce an inheritance to which you have been called, go to your notary to inform you in detail of the three options.
Diseñado por CRM Inmovilla

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Destinatarios: Your data won’t be transferred to anyone, if not for legal obligation.

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