Inheritances in Argentina
Limeres is a law firm with vast experience in inheritances in Argentina, which is based in three fundamental pillars: human resources, professionalism, and constant training. As most Occidental countries, inheritances are part of the Succession Law, and they are governed by the specific laws of each national constitution.
In the case of the Argentine Republic, the Civil and Commercial Code of the Nation, specifically, the Fifth Book – Transfer of rights upon death, it refers to Successions, and it establishes the following in the Article 2277:
Opening of the succession. The actual or alleged death of a person causes the opening of his or her succession and the transfer of the inheritance to the people appointed in the last will or by law. If the last will only includes the assets, the rest of the inheritances is distributed by law.
It is important to note that the estate consists of all the rights and obligations of the originator, which remain in force despite the death of said person.
The following article of the Civil and Commercial Code states a clear distinction between heir and legatee. In the first case, it refers to the person who receives all the universal inheritance rights or an undivided part of the inheritance, while the legatee receives a specific asset or a set of them.
It is worth noting that, by law, upon the death of the decedent, the heirs take immediate and undivided ownership of all the rights and actions of the deceased person, except for those that are not transferred by means of succession. On the other hand, the heirs should pay the originator’s debts with the assets they receive, or with their value if they are disposed of.
Another essential aspect to take into account is the order of priority of the heirs. Among the lawful heirs, there are the descendants and ascendants of the originator, the surviving spouse, and the relatives up to the fourth level of kinship. The descendants include the sons and daughters of the originator, who inherit in equal parts. The same applies to adopted children. On the other hand, the grandchildren may appear representing said sons and daughters, that is, their respective parents. As regards the ascendants, they include the father, the mother, and the grandparents of the deceased person. They also receive the inheritance in equal parts.
The surviving spouse of the decedent is entitled to the same part as a son or a daughter. Nevertheless, he or she does not inherit any part from the division of the marital estate. The main reason is that those assets belong to both spouses. In other words, the surviving spouse keeps his or her half of the marital estate, but does not inherit anything from the other half. However, if there are no descendants or ascendants, the surviving spouse inherits the total estate. In the case that there are no heirs at all, the assets are assigned to either the national or provincial State, or to the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, depending the place where the assets are located.
Here is important to clarify that the divorced spouse does not inherit from the deceased person, since the succession law between spouses expires at the moment of the divorce, the actual marital separation, and the legal ruling of any type that implies the end of the life together.
Difference between the legal part and the available part
As already mentioned before, the lawful heirs are the descendants, the ascendants, and the surviving spouse, who receive “legal part” of the inheritance. The legal part of for the descendants is 2/3 of the inheritance. This means that a last will can only dispose of the remaining third, which is part the available part.
The legal part of the ascendants corresponds to one half of it, while the surviving spouse receives the other half of the inheritance.
In all the cases, the universal heirs cannot be excluded by means of a last will or by acts of disposal inter vivos free of charge.
Nevertheless, Chapter 2 of the Civil and Commercial Code of the Argentine Republic, in its Article 2330, it refers to the forced indivision, and it establishes the following:
The testator may impose on his or her heirs, even forced heirs, the undivided possession of the inheritance for a period no longer than ten years.
Within the assets subject to this, we can find the following: a specific asset, a business store, and industrial, agricultural, livestock, mining facility, or any other that constitutes an economic unit, and the social shares, quotas, or stocks of the company from which the originator is the main partner or stockholder.
In the case there are serious circumstances or compelling reasons, a coheir may request the corresponding court the total or partial division before the expiration of the term.
Inheritances are one of the most complex fields within the Succession Law. First of all, it is important to take into account that the object of any probate is the identification of the heirs. Then, it is necessary to determine the content of the estate. Once concluded the corresponding inventory, the next step is to collect the loans, pay the debts, legacies, and levies. Last, it is time to render account of all the tasks performed, and to distribute the assets among all the heirs.
For this, it is essential to have the guidance of a professional specialized in these matters in order to request the declaration of heirs in the corresponding court.
For this reason, at Limeres, our team of attorneys is qualified to offer a consultancy service of high quality, which encompasses all the aspects related to inheritances in Argentina, from legal up to tax matters. In addition, we have the largest networks of lawyers licensed in every province of the Argentine Republic. This allows us to work in a swift manner, and to offer an outstanding service to our local and foreign clients. At our law firm, we abide by the highest standards of professionalism, confidentiality, and reliability. More than two decades support our relentless success along the Argentine Republic.