The judicial division of the inheritance: what is the trial like when the heirs do not agree when distributing the assets

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These are the cases in which a will cannot be declared void. (Freepik)

The judicial partition of a inheritance It is one in which the heirs do not agree on the distribution of the deceased person's assets. The heirs must go to the competent court, so that the judge can appoint an expert, who will be in charge of carrying out the division of the inheritance. Since the entry into force of the Voluntary Jurisdiction Law In July 2015, the figure of the notary is allowed to resolve certain situations or conflicts without having to resort to judicial means. This facilitates the unblocking of inheritances in which a lack of consensus among the heirs prevents progress in the process.

Among the causes of a judicial inheritance partition Two situations can be observed:

  • One of the heirs neither accepts nor repudiates the inheritance
  • Once the inheritance is accepted by the heirs, one of them hinders the distribution of the assets.

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When there is an heir who has neither accepted nor repudiated the inheritance the process is blocked for his part. In this case, it is established that any interested party who proves his interest in the heir accepting or repudiating the inheritance may go to the notary so that he can communicate it within a period of 30 calendar days to accept or, where appropriate, repudiate the inheritance.

If the heir has accepted, but there is one of them that hinders the distribution of goods and if there is no will, an accountant-divider of the inheritance is appointed. The partition will then be approved, unless expressly confirmed by all heirs and legatees. In the event that one of the heirs is declared judicially incapable You can choose one of the following scenarios:

  • Accept inheritance without inventory benefit: It will be necessary to obtain judicial authorization prior to signing the inheritance acceptance deed.
  • Accept inheritance for the benefit of inventory: It will not be necessary to obtain prior judicial authorization to accept the inheritance.
  • In case of conflict, you must initiate a judicial division procedure of inheritance where the Judge, after hearing the parties, makes the corresponding division.

Many times the testator does not foresee that the heirs can discuss and do not agree on the distribution of the assets, either because they believe they feel more harmed or because they are not satisfied with the assets received, refusing to take steps, contribute to the expenses, or to go to the notary's office. It must be taken into account that to proceed with the distribution of an inheritance, unanimity and the signature of all heirs is required.

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In the event that the heirs do not agree on the division of the assets to be inherited and there are quarrels between the heirs, they may go to the competent Court of First Instance and request that the division be carried out. judicial inheritance partition, The Judicial Secretary will appoint an expert to be in charge of preparing the partition notebook, a document that establishes the distribution of assets. He judicial partition procedure of the inheritance consists of the following parts:

  • Start of the lawsuit
  • Determination of hereditary assets
  • Appraisal of assets
  • Adjudication of assets

Firstly, the heir who wishes to start the process must file a lawsuit before the competent court. Next, it will be determined which assets are part of the deceased's estate and which are not. There are a series of assets that are unquestionably part of the inheritance, such as real estate; others, such as cash, jewelry, unregistered real estate..., may be more difficult to value.

Once the assets that form part of the inheritance are known, you must proceed to the distribution among his heirs complying with the established quotas if there is a will or by the quotas determined by the Civil Code. If there is no agreement regarding the assets, the judge will appoint a judicial expert to determine the value of those assets that are creating a problem. A verbal trial will be held in which the judge of first instance, by means of a sentence, will establish and decide the inventory.

  • Presentation of the partition notebook in which he must proceed to distribute the inheritance in accordance with the provisions of the will or under civil regulations.
  • Partition notebook challenge phase: In the event that the distribution of the assets is impossible, the judge may agree to an adjudication by undivided parts, in which the heirs must go to a verbal trial to liquidate the conflicting assets.

The awarded assets must be given to heirs and legateesas well as the property titles so that they can be registered in the Property Registry.

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