Before accepting the inheritance you have to take into account the following aspects that are important.
Everything that refers to the acceptance of the inheritance is described in the Civil Code, but first you have to know whether or not there is a will. If it does not exist, a declaration of heirs must be made.
Once the will is opened or the declaration of heirs is made, we can consider accepting the inheritance, or not according to what suits us best.
How long do I have to accept the inheritance?
By current jurisprudence, this period is 30 years when acceptance is made pure and simple.
However, it may happen that there is a third party, normally a creditor or another heir that prevents this period from running out.
In the case of acceptance for the benefit of inventory, the term will be 30 days from when you know your status as heir.
Ways to accept inheritance
Accepting an inheritance is a voluntary act and no one can force you to do so. Yes, they could notify you so that you can decide whether we accept or not, but never force you to accept it. So, depending on the criteria you use, differentiate several forms.
Pure and simple acceptance: It implies the acceptance of all the deceased's assets, but also of all debts. We want to emphasize that, if you accept the inheritance purely and simply, you cannot set conditions or accept exclusively what is convenient for you. That is, you have to assume both what benefits you (real estate, money in the bank ...) and what hurts you (debts).
Acceptance for the benefit of inventory: Suppose that you as heir are going to respond to the debts with the inherited heritage, but not with your own, that is, the acceptance of those debts is limited to the assets and rights that you can inherit.
Also, we can make a distinction according to the way in which the acceptance is made.
The acceptance of the inheritance determines the moment in which the assets permanently change ownership.
Express acceptance: It is done by signing in a public document (notary).
Tacit acceptance: Through a series of acts, it is understood that, implicitly, you have accepted the inheritance. As examples, we can point to the fact of collecting credits from the inheritance, paying with assets of the inheritance debts that come from it or, even, continuing with the management of a business that had belonged to the deceased.
Where is the acceptance made?
The most common is to do it in a public deed at the notary's office.
What does acceptance imply?
Once the acceptance has taken place, you can already obtain the status of heir and acquire all the rights and obligations.
It is important to note that acceptance is retroactive. This implies that, if you take 4 years to accept it since the deceased's death, it will be considered for all purposes as if you had accepted it at the time of his death.
Do all heirs have to accept it?
No. Being a voluntary act, it is possible to accept or repudiate it. It will already be a matter of each one and of his interests, to choose one or the other. However, keep in mind that once you take the step of accepting or repudiating the inheritance, there is no going back, that is, you cannot change your opinion in the future.
For this reason, it is necessary to have adequate information and correct advice so that, in no case, accepting or repudiating an inheritance causes you harm.
At Audacia Abogados we are experts in inheritance. If you have any questions, we will be happy to assist.