Conflicting Inheritances Between Siblings

Conflicting Inheritances Between Siblings: The 4 Most Common Problems and How They Are Solved

The possibility of receiving an inheritance puts the relatives of the deceased in front of the challenge of understanding each other, negotiating and making complex decisions to avoid affecting the process of succession and the subsequent distribution of assets. However, in most cases, inheritances are usually one of the main reasons for sibling arguments, and even family breakdown.

From the moment someone dies and the existence or not of a will is known. Those called to be heirs face several doubts. From what they are entitled to inherit to how to act in the event of the adjudication of a part of the assets.

Who is entitled to an inheritance when there is no will?

Argentine law provides that the inheritance is transmitted directly to the so-called legitimate or forced heirs: parents, children and spouse.

That means that if the deceased person had one or more of these relatives, they will be able to inherit your assets, whether there is a will or not. They will be entitled to a portion of the estate of which they cannot be deprived.

Conflicting Inheritances Between Siblings

However, among the legitimate heirs there are also orders of priority. First of all, there are the children, and secondly, the parents.

In turn, in both cases, the spouse is present. This means that if the deceased person had children and a spouse. They will be the ones who inherit even if the deceased had parents (the latter are excluded by children).

In the case of a person who had parents, siblings and a spouse at the time of death. It will be inherited by his or her parents and spouse (siblings are excluded).

On the other hand, if the person did not have a spouse, his descendants (children, grandchildren) inherit; and if they had no descendants, their ascendants (parents, grandparents) inherit.

Siblings or nieces and nephews only inherit if there are no heirs, and if they were not replaced by an heir established in the will.

What is the best way to distribute an inheritance?

According to specialists, in everything related to family assets, it is always best to reach agreements and consensus to avoid ending up in court, since the judicial division procedure is extensive and expensive.

In order to dispose of the assets (whether there is a will or not) it is necessary to initiate the judicial process. Which must be processed in the jurisdiction of the last domicile of the deceased. It should start with an attorney.

Before starting it, it is necessary to gather the necessary documentation: the death certificate and the document that proves the link with the person who opens the file (birth certificate, marriage certificate, etc.).

The distribution of the inheritance is the last stage of the succession process, in which the assets left by the person who died are awarded to their declared heirs. In both a probate without a will and a testamentary succession. There is a portion of the inheritance that is reserved by law for forced heirs.

Also in this phase, if everyone agrees, and after the corresponding judicial process, what each heir received may be registered in the respective Property Registries (real estate, automobile, etc.) and the delivery of money or transfer of funds -if any-, and the adjudication of non-registrable assets is carried out.

It is only at this point that the heirs can dispose of and, above all, transfer the inherited capital. However, it is very common that, in the absence of agreements, an inheritance is blocked before starting the acceptance procedures.

Conflicting Inheritances: The 4 Most Common Problems

It usually happens that due to the refusal of one or more of the heirs to the proposed distribution, the first inconveniences arise to move forward with the process. Among the most common, there are four that stand out.

1. One of the heirs lives on the same property as his or her parents

There are cases where one of the children is sharing the same land or property as their parents, a situation that so far did not present major inconveniences between the siblings. But when the owner of the house dies, the rest of his children intend to sell it to inherit it.

2. One of the heirs makes use of and enjoys any of the assets

It may also happen that one of the siblings has been occupying a home that corresponds to the family patrimony for quite some time. Without paying rent for what corresponds to his siblings, or even generating debts for not paying taxes and services. At the time of the distribution, you could also refuse to leave the property.

3. Lack of liquidity to accept the inheritance

Another common problem is that an heir does not have money available to meet the costs of acceptance and processing of the inheritance (notary fees, registry fees, etc.), in addition to all the taxes derived.

In these cases, if one or more of the heirs do not have their own funds to meet these expenses. It will be necessary to apply for financing, with the problems and difficulties that this may entail.

4. Inheritances with debts

Another complex situation that can arise is that of an inheritance in which there are debts or liabilities. So that the heir is not clear whether it is in his or her interests to accept or reject it.

Accepting an inheritance acquires the entire estate of the deceased person, both assets and debts. In this way, the heir becomes the owner of the estate, but at the same time must pay the debts that the person had at the time of death.

However, there is a way to prevent this from happening when you don’t know exactly what debts the deceased had: it is possible to accept the inheritance for “inventory benefit”. This allows all debts to be cancelled with the estate to be inherited, without the heir compromising his or her own estate.

Who inherits what, an issue that is often conflictive. Photo: Shutterstock.
Who inherits what, an issue that is often conflictive. Photo: Shutterstock.

How do you divide an inheritance among siblings when not everyone agrees?

Specialists explain that the inheritance should be divided equally among all the children. In order to dispose of the assets, it is necessary to go through the judicial process of succession. On the other hand, if one of them keeps an asset. For example the parents’ house, and exceeds the value of what is legally theirs. they must give the difference of the money to the rest of the heirs.

But if months go by without an inheritance being distributed. Because all the heirs are not in agreement, the heirs have several options to unblock the situation.

The first thing to do is to analyze the cause or reason for the dispute. Inheritance law is very extensive. Therefore, no matter how complicated the problem may seem, a solution can always be found with the law in hand.

“If there is no way to reach an agreement, it will be the judge who determines how it will be distributed among the heirs. Taking into account the portions of each one and the assets of the inheritance,” Torres Santomé said.

Meanwhile, he stressed that because it is more economically convenient, the partition “in kind” is prioritized. This means dividing and adjudicating the assets, and that none of the co-participants can demand their sale.

Otherwise, the goods must be sold and the product obtained must be distributed. But with the mediation of a judge, the procedure will be much more costly.

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