How is Estate Inventory Carried Out
When the succession is opened, an inventory of the deceased’s inheritance can be made.
When an individual dies, he or she leaves an estate. This patrimony generally consists of property, money, claims and debts. According to an established procedure, the entire estate is passed on to the heirs.
This entails the completion of numerous succession procedures.
Once the estate is opened, one proceeds to:
– the inventory of the estate;
– the organization of the joint ownership of the inheritance.
Inventory of the succession: the heir accepts the succession
When an heir accepts the succession up to the net assets, he must draw up an inventory of the deceased’s assets.
Acceptance up to the amount of the assets means that the heir, at the time of the succession option:
– accepts to receive the succession;
– but undertakes to pay the deceased’s debts only up to the limit of the inheritance he receives.
Example of calculation for the succession
X dies, leaving an heir. Y. X’s estate includes assets worth 10,000 and debts amounting to 11,000:
– if Y accepts the estate outright, he inherits 10,000 but has to pay off the debts (11,000): he is impoverished by 1,000;
– if Y accepts the estate up to the amount of the net assets, he receives the property and pays the debts up to the value of the property received, i.e. 10,000. Y is neither richer nor poorer.
Heirs who are minors or protected adults
The minor and the protected adult cannot be held liable for the payment of the deceased’s debts beyond the value of the property received: they are therefore deemed to accept the succession up to the net assets. Under these conditions, the inventory is carried out automatically.
Good to know: however, a protected adult may accept an estate purely and simply if the assets exceed the liabilities, after obtaining a certificate from the notary responsible for settling the estate or, failing that, after authorization from the family council or the judge.
Drawing up an inventory of the estate: 3 options
A notary’s realization of an inventory costs a certain amount, excluding taxes and registration or publicity fees.
The inventory is carried out at the heir’s request by a notary, a bailiff or an auctioneer.
– the list and the capacity of the heirs;
– The description and value of the assets and liabilities of the estate:
◦ assets: movable and immovable property, securities and shares, money, claims;
◦ liabilities: legacies, loans and credits, debts.
Good to know: when the deceased – during his lifetime – has disposed of the available portion, only the assets of the hereditary reserve are taken into account.
Inventory of the estate: within 2 months
The heir must file the inventory at the clerk’s office of the judicial court within 2 months of the declaration of the succession option.
The inventory is registered and published for the benefit of the creditors. If the heir does not comply with this deadline, he is deemed to have accepted the estate outright.
Making an inventory of the succession before the partition
Regardless of the succession option chosen by the heirs, it is advisable to make an inventory before dividing the estate. The inventory makes it possible to establish a list of the deceased’s assets. The inventory is particularly useful in the event of a report of gifts.
Please note: the estate report only concerns gifts of which the heir was personally the beneficiary. For example, two spouses give money to each of their three children: two receive this sum, while the third asks that it be delivered directly to his children (grandchildren of the donors). At the death of the donor couple, the amount that was given to the grandchildren does not have to be included in the estate because the third child did not personally benefit from it.