Acceptance of the inheritance
Once the heirs have obtained information on the deceased’s account balances, they may proceed to accept the inheritance and its division and distribution.
The acceptance of the inheritance is the declaration whereby the heir expresses the wish to succeed the deceased. Acceptance may be “pure and simple” or with “benefit of inventory”.
The difference between the two is that in “purely and simply” accepting the inheritance the heirs become liable for all the deceased’s debts, not only up to the limit of the assets inherited but also with their own assets.
By contrast, if the inheritance is accepted “with benefit of inventory”, the heirs are obliged to pay the debts and other obligations of the deceased only up to the limit of the assets inherited.
Acceptance may be either express or tacit. If an heir takes steps to take possession of the inheritance this is understood to be tacit acceptance.
Any interested party having justified their interest may approach the Notary Public requesting that the latter notify the heirs that they have 30 days to accept the inheritance, whether “purely and simply” or “with benefit of inventory”, or to renounce or reject it. If the heirs renounce or do not accept the inheritance before a Notary Public within the 30-day term, the inheritance will be understood to have been accepted “purely and simply”.
Find out more in our 2017 Complaints Report (in Spanish) (83 KB)