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Inheritance from a loved one is usually associated with property – old paintings, a house in the mountains, securities. Unfortunately, it often means serious trouble. Not only property, but also debts are inherited.

How to avoid such unpleasant surprises?

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First of all, it should be remembered that inherited debts are acquired at the time of the death of a loved one. This is independent of whether this is based on the provisions of the Civil Code on statutory inheritance (Article 922 et seq. CC) or on a will (Article 924 CC and 925 CC). However, the law gives us time to think. Within 6 months after the testator’s death, a decision should be made whether to accept the decline without limitation of liability for debts (so-called simple adoption) or reject it.

There is also a third way, namely the acceptance of inheritance with limitation of liability for inheritance debts (so-called inventory acceptance). In the case of simple adoption, the heir is liable for debts with all his property, unlike the case of acceptance with the benefit of inventory, where the heir’s liability for inheritance debts is limited only to the amount of the inheritance.

What will happen if the inheritance is rejected?

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It will automatically go to further heirs. So if they also want to avoid inheriting debts from the deceased, they should also reject the inheritance. If you want to give up the inheritance, for example because of high debt, we can also take care of it in advance – preferably during the lifetime of the testator. This should be done by concluding a contract for the waiver of succession in the form of a notarial deed. It is worth remembering that the waiver will apply to the children of the heir, unless the contractual agreement states otherwise.

For your own good

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You should be interested in the fate of not only your immediate but also extended family. If the inheritance, for example after the grandfather’s brother, is rejected, it can quickly turn out that the debts pass to us. If you were unaware of the death of a loved one or the fact that your relatives gave up their inheritance, your six-month deadline begins to run as soon as the message has arrived.

However, you must prove your lack of knowledge in court. Interest on the debt is calculated constantly, even after the death of the debtor. It is good to ask the creditor to write off part of the debt or to spread it into installments.