Death: the progress of a step by step succession

Death: the progress of a step by step succession

Which notary to choose?

Most successions are settled via the arbitration of a notary.It is however possible to do without it if the value of the estimated heritage of the deceased is less than 50.000 euros (3.000 euros in the absence of spouse and descendant).

On the other hand, the settlement of the succession by a notary is compulsory if:

In the majority of cases, heirs must therefore call on a notary.It is possible to choose the notary of the deceased if he had one, the latter being often in possession of the will.However, heirs are free to designate another notary.The ideal is to have only one interlocutor.

Be represented by another notary

In the absence of an agreement, each heir can possibly be represented by his notary.In the event of a plurality of stakeholders, there will still have only one notary of the succession, assigned to the drafting of all acts, the others, called "second notaries", being responsible for assisting theirclients.In the end, the notary in charge of the succession is the one who launched the procedure first.

Testament search

One of the first things to be done following the death of a person is to seek their dispositions on the last wishes, such as a will, a donation to the last living or life insurance.These provisions will indeed make it possible to determine the identity of the heirs and the shares of each.

Sometimes a will be found in the affairs of the deceased.But generally it will have been entrusted to a notary and it will be saved in the central file of the last wishes (FCDDV) provisions that the notary in charge of the succession must question on the basis of a death certificate.

Settlement of the succession without will

Whether or not the deceased wrote a will during his lifetime, the notary establishes an act of notoriety which aims to list the various legal and/or testamentary heirs of the succession.He can call on a genealogist to help him in this task.The objective is not to forget any beneficiary in order to avoid any subsequent dispute.

The act of notoriety is signed by all the heirs.It must be carried out as soon as possible because it allows you to act on behalf of the succession, in particular to unlock bank accounts.This document is also necessary to then be able to write all the other acts of the succession (sharing, declaration of succession, certificate of ownership, etc.).

Testimony of two witnesses

The notary can resort to the testimony of two independent witnesses (not having a relationship of kinship with the deceased) knowing the deceased as well as his marital and/or family situation (friends, neighbors, colleagues ...).This appeal is not compulsory.

It usually takes place when the deceased has no family and has not left a will.The testimony of the two witnesses aims to confirm the identity of the deceased and the possible existence of relatives with a view to establishing the act of notoriety.

Evaluation of the deceased heritage

Then comes the time of the consistency of the succession.Clearly, it is a question of determining its composition, namely assets and liabilities, while taking into account the matrimonial regime of the deceased, previous donations and sometimes life insurance contracts.

To establish the consistency of the assets to be taken into account, the notary will question various organizations (banks, insurance companies, mutual, pension fund, co -ownership trustee, etc.) in connection with the deceased person, in particular to determine the liabilities (taxesPaying, loans to honor, work voted in the meeting of co -owners to finance ...).He will also ask the heirs to have real estate or other not listed assets on the stock market assess.

The liabilities will be established by listing the debts at the expense of the deceased, whether it be invoices (water, gas, electricity, telephone, internet access, etc.), taxes due (income tax, housing tax, property tax), recoverable social assistance (such as the solidarity allowance for the elderly (ASPA) which replaced the minimum old age), monthly repayment to a mortgage, a guarantee of deposit or evena compensatory allowance paid to an ex-spouse.

Inventory of succession

Décès : le déroulement d’une succession étape par étape

The inventory of movable property is not compulsory in a succession.The operation is, however, strongly advised.This approach has many advantages.Applying for an on-site assessment by a auctioneer, part per piece and object by object, allows you to have a precise estimate of the price of movable property of the deceased.

This conservatory act (it can be carried out even before the heirs are identified) "freezes" the value of the goods, which may be useful in the event of a dispute.In addition, it often reduces inheritance tax.In the absence of an inventory, the taxman applies a "furniture package" equivalent to 5% of the deceased assets.However, it is rare that the estimated value of furniture, dishes and jewelry reach such an amount.

Who pays the current invoices?

It is the notary in charge of the succession who settles the invoices of the deceased to pay.For this, he is authorized to draw on the bank's account (s) of the deceased.If the banking assets are not sufficient, the invoices not honored are put to the liabilities of the succession.

Collection of funds

If the surviving spouse had a joint account with the deceased, he is authorized to unlock funds on the account.Please note: the widower or the widow may have to justify the merits of these withdrawals in the event of contestation of the succession by beneficiaries.

In addition, the loved one who took care of the funeral can ask the bank of the deceased and under presentation of the invoice of the funeral company to withdraw from the bank account up to 3.000 euros to be reimbursed for funeral fees.

Upon presentation of the heredity certificate, direct heirs (surviving spouse or children) may request the release of sums held by the deceased from financial institutions up to 5.335.72 euros.

Accept the succession or give it up

Once the active assets have been determined, it's time for choices for heirs.They have three possibilities: to accept the estate, to accept the succession to the net assets (less debts and claims) or to renounce the succession.The deadline to exercise the estate option is four months.

Passed this period of reflection and if the heir has not made a decision, a creditor, a co-heir, the state or a person who inherits if the beneficiary would renounce can force the latter to decide.The heir then has two months to make a decision.He may request an additional period from the judge.Unanswered, he is considered to have accepted the succession.If no one forced the heir to make a choice, he is 10 years old to decide.Beyond this period, this time he is considered to have renounced the succession.

Acceptance of the succession, which can be express (via an act of acceptance) or tacit (via initiated steps), allows the owner to receive his share of inheritance.However, he is required to pay the debts of the deceased within the limits of his rights in the succession.There is another limit to the obligation to pay debts when an important debt is later discovered.Once the succession has been accepted, the heir can no longer give it up or accept it up to the net assets.

The option of acceptance of net assets means that the owner will receive his share of inheritance and will pay the debts within the limit of the deceased goods.His personal property therefore remains safe from creditors.The heir who makes this choice can no longer give up the succession, but he can accept it purely and simply and therefore give up acceptance from net assets if he finds that the succession is surplus.

The declaration of acceptance is made at the registry of the tribunal de grande instance (TGI) of the last domicile of the deceased.It is then published in the Official Bulletin of Civil and Commercial Ads (BODACC) so that the creditors of the deceased are informed of it.It is possible to ask a judicial auctioneer, a bailiff or a notary to establish an inventory of the succession to estimate the goods and debts of the deceased.With the exceptions granted by the judge, this inventory must be filed with the TGI registry within two months from the declaration of acceptance, then it will be published in BODACC.

From the advertising of the declaration, the heirs have 15 months to choose to keep or sell the property of the succession.They can also ask the judge to designate a representative to manage the property of the succession and settle the debts.

Finally, in the case of renunciation, the heir receives no property and does not pay any debt from the deceased.He can nevertheless be led to participate, if he is descendant (child, small child) or ascendant (parent, grandparent), to the payment of funeral fees according to his resources.The declaration of renunciation must also be made to the registry of the TGI of the home of the deceased.The heir can change their mind and formulate acceptance until the other beneficiaries have accepted the succession.

Declare the succession to taxes

The beneficiary of a succession - whether the surviving spouse, the child or a legatee - must compulsory a declaration of succession.From the day of death, the heirs of the estate must make their declaration within six months if it took place in mainland France, within 12 months for all other cases.

Special deadlines are planned for overseas departments (Martinique, Guadeloupe, Réunion, Guyana, Mayotte) and Corsica.In the French overseas departments, if the succession is settled in the department where the deceased was domiciled, the succession must be declared at taxes within six months.Otherwise, the deadline is brought to 12 months, or even 24 months if it takes place in Reunion and the person died elsewhere than in Madagascar, Mauritius, Europe or Africa.In Corsica, it is also set at 24 months if the succession includes at least one property located on the beauty island acquired after January 23, 2002.

Succession forms: CERFA 2705 and other prints

For direct heirs (surviving spouse, children, grandchildren), only one declaration in the name of all the others may be enough.On the other hand, each legatee must in principle declare what it receives.

Concretely, the beneficiary must fill in two copies (an original and a photocopy) three forms available in tax centers or downloadable on the tax website.gouv.Fr :

Form n ° 2706 (cerfa n ° 10486*05) apparently no longer exists.

There is a declaration assistance notice, the 2705-NOT-SD form (Cerfa print n ° 50916#16)

This declaration must be filed either:

If the beneficiaries responsible a notary of the settlement of the succession, the latter must theoretically also take care of the formalities of declaration.

Succession costs

At the same time as they file the declaration of succession, the heirs must pay inheritance rights.The taxation of the succession, established according to the scale of transfer rights free of charge, depends both regimes attached to certain goods (buildings, furniture, titles, etc.) and the relationship between the deceased and the heirs.It will be based, with some exceptions, on the market value of goods on the day of transmission, that is to say on the day of death.

Since 2007, the spouse as the partner of a civil solidarity pact (PACS) have been exempt from inheritance tax.The other heirs remain taxable, the net share returning to each being reduced by a reduction whose amount varies according to the relationship with the deceased.

The payment of rights can be made in cash, by check or by transfer, or even by the delivery of works of art, collectibles, buildings under conditions.Any delay in payment gives rise to penalties (penalty of 0.4% per month of delay and increase of 10% of inheritance rights beyond this period of six months), but it is possible to request a split or deferred payment.

Sharing of succession

The sharing of the property of the succession between the heirs puts an end to the joint possession.This distribution can be amazed if the beneficiaries agree or via legal proceedings in the event of disagreement, with the intervention of a notary.Sharing can be total or partial, if certain goods remain in joint possession (goods in usufruct, for example).

This stage of the settlement of the succession will require the transfer of goods on behalf of the heirs.Thus, certificates of ownership are necessary to validate the fact that the heirs are the new owners of the goods, whether they are real estate, shares of civil companies, vehicles or securities (shares, bonds, etc.).

In the case of real estate, the heirs must have the certificate of ownership published in the real estate file, as well as the shares of civil companies, for which the publication is made at the registry of the Commercial and Companies Court.

In addition to inheritance tax, the heirs must imperatively settle the fees of the notary in charge of the settlement of the succession.

Duration of a succession

The settlement of a succession cannot exceed six months.This period to close a succession is brought to one year if the deceased lived outside France.

To read also:

Death: the guide to formalities to be performed on the disappearance of a loved one