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Home > Successions and wills > Succession > Accepting or renouncing a succession

Accepting or renouncing a succession

With few exceptions, the law does not oblige people to accept a succession that has devolved to them. The heirs are required to pay the deceased’s debts up to the value of the property they inherit. Successors who accept a succession cannot simply change their mind and renounce it; they must apply to the court if they wish to cancel their acceptance.

If the heirs exempt the liquidator from making an inventory, they can be held personally liable for the succession’s debts in excess of the value of the property they inherit.

If there is no notarized document indicating that a successor has refused to accept the succession, the successor is considered to have accepted it. Similarly, certain actions or omissions entail an acceptance of the succession, such as use of goods from the succession as personal property.

Successors generally renounce a succession if the deceased’s debts exceed the value of the assets of the succession. If the successors decide to renounce the succession, they must do so by notarized deed.

Time frame for renouncing or accepting
A successor generally has six months from the opening of the succession (usually from the date of death or the date the right arises) to accept or renounce a succession. It is very important to renounce a succession within the time specified by law; otherwise you may be considered to have accepted it.

Before renouncing or accepting a succession, it is wise to wait for the publication of the notice of closure of inventory. This publication may change the inventory if the existence of unknown property or debts has been revealed.

Sometimes it is better to renounce the succession. It is wise and often essential to consult your notary before making the appropriate decision. Liquidating a succession without following the rules of the Civil Code could have negative and costly consequences.