Division of the estate: Contractual provisions

Properties inherited in community pose a particular difficulty when selling. Within the framework of a community of heirs, there are several owners in the land register. This circumstance has a detrimental effect on the interest of potential buyers and makes the sale process more difficult. There is a solution to simplify the settlement and at the same time provide for a clear guideline of all heirs with equal rights. The settlement of an inheritance refers to the dissolution of a community of heirs, which is carried out on the basis of clear contractual regulations and is not bound by any particular form.

Important facts about the division of an estate: How to proceed!

Pursuant to section 2042 of the Civil Code, any co-heir may demand the settlement of the inheritance and may do so at any time from the commencement of the succession. An acceleration of the settlement of the estate is based on the payment of the share of the estate to which the co-heir is entitled. In principle, the only way to settle an inheritance is by dividing the estate and thus paying out the respective share of the inheritance. Particularly in the case of high-value real estate, rented properties or commercial real estate, the division of the estate is a good way to avoid disputes within a community of heirs. In order to enable the inheritance division and to trigger the community of heirs, the value of the property must be professionally determined. The share per heir depends on the market value and thus on the possible sales proceeds of the property.

Simplify the sale of a house through inheritance division

Even if the house is not sold but is held by an heir, the inheritance settlement involves the payment of all co-heirs. The private decision for an inheritance settlement is recommended, as disputes in communities of heirs otherwise usually lead to a partition auction of the property and the associated financial losses. Also bear in mind that it is irritating for a house buyer if there are several owners and thus several entries in the land register. You can simplify the sale of the house by dividing the inheritance and find out before the sale which share each co-heir is entitled to by determining the market value.

More information about inheritance:

Step by step – dissolving the community of heirs

In order for a community of heirs to be dissolved without disputes, it is advisable to follow certain steps. From the correct valuation of the estate to inheritance taxes, there are important formalities to observe.

Determine estate

Until the estate has been determined, a community of heirs cannot be divided. The heirs receive most of the information from the bank where the deceased had the accounts or deposits. In order to gain access to these, a certificate of inheritance or a will with a court opening protocol is required. However, debts are also part of the estate. In order to determine the estate completely, the debts and the assets should be compared and reconciled.

Pay off an estate debt

The debts of the estate can be paid by the heirs of the community of heirs from the estate. It is not uncommon for items belonging to the estate to have to be sold for this purpose, such as real estate or land.

Take into account gifts and donations

If an heir has received gifts or donations from the deceased during his or her lifetime, these may be subject to compensation. The gifts that are subject to equalisation increase the estate arithmetically and are deducted from the inheritance quota of the donee. Each heir can request information from the others about such gifts so that they are correctly taken into account.

Sell indivisible items

If a true division is not possible for certain items, such as a property in the community of heirs, the heirs may have to sell this item or have it foreclosed. In order to do this, a realistic sales price must first be determined. If no agreement can be reached here, a partition auction can be initiated by one of the heirs.

Distribute divisible objects

The inheritance is to be divided in the first place in nature by the heirs. Each heir can therefore take items for himself from the estate in agreement with the other heirs. Money and securities can be divided by the community of heirs according to their respective shares.

Consider care services

If a child has cared for the deceased parent without consideration during his or her lifetime, compensation may be claimed for this. This must be appropriate to the duration, scope and value of the estate.

The notary helps

If an agreement cannot be reached, a notary can be called in by the community of heirs. This mediates between the heirs in order to reach an agreement as quickly as possible. However, it should be borne in mind that such assistance is associated with some costs.

Take account of the tax office

Inheritance tax is always payable on an inheritance. However, some things from the estate can be deducted from the tax, such as the costs of the funeral or fees for the opening of the will.