Inherit no debts: inheritance

Beware of debts in the event of an inheritance in 2023 and therefore take your measures. Inheriting debts from a deceased person: debts are included in the estate. Suppose you are an heir, but you do not know the financial position of the testator sufficiently or not at all. In an inheritance, the debts are often greater than the assets. An inheritance from a parent can consist mainly of debts, a negative inheritance. What can you best do as an heir? You can reject and refuse the inheritance or accept it beneficially. So don’t inherit debts for which you become responsible, because that is not necessary. You can reject an inheritance or accept it beneficially to avoid the risk of debts and claims. A subdistrict court judge can release you from the debts from an inheritance in the event of negligence and unexpected debt.

Inherit debts

  • Do not inherit debts from parent, parents or other testator
  • Who is the heir?
  • Arrange the funeral or burial
  • Refusing and rejecting inheritance to avoid inheriting debts
  • Don’t act like an heir
  • What is beneficial acceptance of an inheritance?
  • The advantage of conditional acceptance
  • Law: unexpected debt removed from inheritance by subdistrict court judge
  • Main changes and modifications
  • Finally, do not inherit debts

Do not inherit debts from parent, parents or other testator

When you accept an inheritance without restrictions, you accept both the assets and the debts. Even if the debts are greater than the assets and there is in fact a negative balance sheet. If the balance is negative, you are co-owner of the debts and therefore directly liable for the debts left behind. In fact, if you are married in community of property or live together in community of property, the debts inherited by the partner also become community property and you are therefore both liable for the debts. Furthermore, student debt owed to the Education Executive Agency, the DUO IB Group, is waived in the event of death.

Who is the heir?

Suppose, for example, that your partner inherits from a relative stranger, someone at a distance or someone with whom there was hardly any contact. There are known cases of an inheritance from a biological father who was never heard from. Suppose your partner simply agrees to an inheritance full of debts without knowing the situation properly. Even then, these debts are fully community property and you are both directly accountable in private. If you do not want this, there are two options: rejection or acceptance under conditions, also known as beneficial acceptance. If in doubt, consult your notary. Is there an overview of heirs if there is no will? So who are heirs and heirs according to law.

Arrange the funeral or burial

The law stipulates that anyone who engages a funeral director also becomes responsible for the total costs of the funeral. So if there is insufficient money and no funeral insurance has been taken out, you should definitely take this into account. The funeral invoice will be at your expense if you do not otherwise arrange this with the family members.

Refusing and rejecting inheritance to avoid inheriting debts

Suppose the testator leaves more debts than assets or you want nothing to do with the inheritance for other reasons, for example due to all kinds of arguments, then you can reject the inheritance. You can refuse and reject the inheritance by making a statement to the court. To avoid all appearances, it is best to make this declaration of rejection as soon as possible at the district court in the district of the deceased. You request the form from the relevant district court.

Don’t act like an heir

Do not act like an heir in any way and do not perform actions that could later be interpreted as such, because you could still get into trouble. For example, if you vacate the deceased’s house, you can already be regarded as an accepted legal heir. Even if you are going to drive in the deceased’s car or take some of the deceased’s belongings with you. After rejection, the next closest relative qualifies as a possible heir. Of course, he can also reject the inheritance and so on.

What is beneficial acceptance of an inheritance?

Another possibility is the beneficial acceptance of an inheritance, also known as acceptance under the privilege of inventory. You must now also submit a statement to the court registry. If one heir accepts beneficiary, the entire inheritance must be settled beneficiary. Here too, just as when rejecting the inheritance, you should not behave as an ordinary heir. There are strict rules for how things should be settled. Ask your notary about this. Accepting an inheritance beneficially is more common than you think. This includes young children and persons under guardianship. At most they can accept benefits to protect these people from themselves. There are additional costs associated with beneficiary acceptance, which can quickly amount to 700 euros.

The advantage of conditional acceptance

The advantage of this method of conditional acceptance is that if the proceeds later turn out to be greater than the debts, the balance will still go to the heir. After all, you remain a conditional heir, but you cannot be held liable for the debts of the estate. On the other hand, you will not acquire any of the assets until it is certain that all debts have been paid. It is therefore a particularly good solution for an inheritance, where the size and composition of the estate is not sufficiently clear at the time of death.

Law: unexpected debt removed from inheritance by subdistrict court judge

You have accepted the inheritance and yet there is a debt, what now? Even in the event of an unexpected debt, where the remaining assets from the inheritance are insufficient to cover the debt, you can ask the subdistrict court judge to decide that you are not liable for the debt after all. You must then apply for an exemption within three months. This is also possible if an inheritance is not purely accepted. The key word here is imputability. You could not have known about the debt. But be careful, you always run the risk that a subdistrict court judge will decide that you should have known better and that something is therefore culpable. For example, a debt due to an unsellable house does not fall under the new scheme, because a mortgage is deemed to be known and can be requested. So you have to be careful. Moreover, taking a small gift no longer immediately means that you have also become an heir. This should only apply to expensive items and even then when you sell or give them away. Here too, what is a trifle and what is expensive? The Protection of Heirs Against Debts Act came into effect on September 1, 2016.

Main changes and modifications

The most important changes as of September 1, 2016 (with effect until 2023):

  • Emptying a home no longer leads to automatic acceptance of the inheritance if you do not also sell the goods and can thus disadvantage creditors.
  • If you accept an inheritance and are nevertheless confronted with an unexpected debt, you can ask the judge within three months of discovering that debt to convert the pure acceptance into a beneficial acceptance.
  • Even if the estate has already been divided, if unknown debts arise, you are only liable for the part you have inherited and no longer with your total assets.

Please note that the new regulations apply to an inheritance that is released from September 1, 2016 and do not have retroactive effect for previous inheritances.

Finally, do not inherit debts

Do not simply accept an inheritance, especially as long as the new law has not yet been introduced. If you have any doubts as to whether the inheritance is positive on balance, take action with the notary. Perhaps more is known about the debts of the deceased at the Credit Registration Office, BKR, in Tiel. Finally, in the case of minors, an inheritance must always be accepted beneficially. Always arrange an inheritance and inheritance properly, with or without a will. The law will protect an heir better in 2023, but anyone who does not want any discussion and does not want to be an heir (certainty for everything) would be better off not behaving as an heir and choosing to reject the inheritance.

read more

  • Disinheriting a child without a will, notary, is that possible?
  • Beneficial inheritance: disadvantages?