Maître Marianne Boussiron, a lawyer at the Charente bar, discusses the topic of inheritance. What strategy should be adopted when children do not agree at the time of division?

CL and the Charente Bar Association continue their partnership, allowing readers to question legal experts by sending their inquiries to A person from Charente is facing a situation that affects many families when an elder passes away and the children are not all on the same page when it comes to inheritance: “My last parent has passed away and my siblings do not want to sign the succession, what can I do?” Response from Me Marianne Boussiron, a lawyer at the Charente bar. When parents pass away, the children and, if one of the children has predeceased, the grandchildren, are considered reserved heirs, meaning they cannot be disinherited and are entitled to a minimum share of the inheritance. The proportion of this share depends on the number of heirs. At the time of death, all heirs now become joint owners of the assets falling into the inheritance. This process begins with the death at the last domicile of the deceased, and it is important to contact a notary close to the deceased parent’s home. The notary has one year to prepare a declaration of succession, which includes identifying the deceased, the heirs, and the assets and liabilities of the estate. To do this, the notary gathers all the estate assets provided by the heirs and contacts financial institutions. Then, the notary convenes the heirs.

If one of the heirs does not respond, the others can take the matter to the judicial court through a lawyer to request the judicial opening of the settlement and distribution of the estate, which means appointing a new notary who has not yet been involved in the case to start the succession process from the beginning. If the estate includes assets that need to be evaluated, the Court may appoint an expert, or leave it to the notary to engage the services of a professional of their choice. Each heir presents their requests to the new notary. If disagreements persist, a record of difficulties is drawn up, listing all points of disagreement between the heirs. It will then be necessary to bring the matter back to the court, which will resolve each point of dispute, and its decision will be binding on all parties. If, despite this, an heir continues to refuse to sign the succession, the lawyer of the other heirs can request the judge to approve the division project established by the notary, which will definitively close the succession.

In conclusion, when faced with uncooperative siblings in estate succession, it is important to follow the legal steps outlined by a lawyer to ensure a fair and just distribution of assets. Seeking legal advice and taking the matter to court if necessary can help resolve disputes and ensure the smooth settlement of the estate. Remember, the legal system is in place to protect the rights of all parties involved in inheritance matters, and following the proper procedures is crucial in handling such situations effectively.