Succession and inheritance

Succession and inheritance are linked to a sad event and often far from our thoughts; death is, however, inevitable and therefore we would all benefit from a knowledge of the principles of succession. Indeed, this complex system of rules assures the passing down of property and the continuation of all active and passive juridical relations from the deceased to their heirs. From this perspective a conscientious awareness of how to achieve this transfer of one's property, especially when the property is tied up in complex activities and/or linked to a business, respecting wherever possible the natural wishes of future heirs, can avoid misunderstandings and conflict between them and ease the necessary passage from one generation to the next. It is therefore appropriate to have accurate information on the effects of succession and inheritance; here the notary can be of assistance not only pre-emptively, to advise on how to arrange things according to certain rules, but also following a death, to resolve any problems which may present themselves to the relatives.

The notary can advise on the first steps to be taken in the event of a death and, regarding property ownership, the regulations on devolution and succession (in other words, the rules about how heirs are identified), with particular reference to legitimate succession (governed by law) and/or testamentary succession (governed by the wishes of a person who leaves a will); the notary can establish in the latter case whether there are individuals (legitimate heirs) who are entitled by law to a portion of the estate, even in contrast to the wishes stated in the will. 
The individuals concerned must then decide whether to accept or decline the inheritance, in other words consult as to the procedures applicable in the case of bequests; that is the granting of particular goods. 
The fiscal aspects of succession and inheritance must also be taken into account: here again the notary can provide the necessary advice on how to proceed.

The notary has, moreover, specific competence to give advice as to how to draw up a will, in other words what to do in life to ensure that certain desired results are achieved after death.