Фото: Inheritance with debts. What shall I do?

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Inheritance with debts. What shall I do?

Reading time: 4 min.

When a person is included in the list of heirs, this is not only a pleasure in connection with obtaining ownership of property. Sometimes the inheritance can be burdened with debt. So let's learn more about how inheritance occurs in such a situation.

Is it possible not to inherit debt?

Sometimes heirs ask whether it is possible to somehow avoid inheriting debts. However, the answer is negative if you decide to accept the inheritance. This issue is regulated by Art. 1218 of the Civil Code of Ukraine, where it is clearly stated that the acceptance of an inheritance provides for the acceptance of not only the rights, but also the obligations of the testator. Therefore, if this person had debts or credits, you will have to pay their obligations.

Next, we will consider in more detail how this happens. But first we will answer one more question - is the debt inherited by itself. Sometimes the heirs have a question about whether they will have to pay a debt or loan after the death of their relative, if he himself had no property. Of course, the answer will be negative, because the debt itself is not inherited.

He can inherit only with property rights. This means that you will receive an inheritance, within which you will settle the debt, and the rest of the inheritance will remain with you.

The next question that arises for the heirs in this context is mainly related to whether the heirs are obliged to accept the inheritance if the amount of debts exceeds it or is almost identical. No, you do not have to accept the inheritance in such a case, because indeed it can, instead of being achieved, become the cause of useless bureaucratic aspects in the complete absence of benefits. Sometimes people still accept such a legacy, considering that it includes some important family relics that they want to preserve, and they take on the payment of debts.

Your decisions may be different, but in order to act wisely, you need to understand all the peculiarities of the topic of accepting an inheritance burdened with debt. Only in this way will you protect yourself from unpleasant surprises that you may find out after the fact. To prevent this from happening, you should immediately enlist the support of good lawyers who will answer all the questions that interest you. If the inheritance is burdened by a tangible debt, then it is optimal to contact specialists beforehand to decide whether it would make sense to accept it specifically in your situation. This is essential, because the heirs, who accepted the inheritance in the order and within the terms established by law, can be presented with claims for the repayment of credit obligations.

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What can be the options for actions in relation to the inheritance

In this context, there are several relevant decisions, among which the heir can choose one or another option. It's not just accepting or rejecting an inheritance. It can also be a withdrawal of an application for acceptance of inheritance. Sometimes it happens that a person agreed to accept an inheritance, but later realized that he did not want to deal with a debt that the testator also left. Our specialists will advise you on how to withdraw the application in such a case, if your decision to accept an inheritance burdened with debt was made hastily.

What else do you need to know about such an inheritance?

Please note a few more important aspects regarding the procedure for inheriting property encumbered with debt. So:

  • When the inheritance is distributed among several heirs, the debt is also distributed among them in proportion to the share that each receives.
  • There is a rule on automatic inheritance. It is specified in Article 1268 of the Civil Code of Ukraine. If the heir and the testator lived together on a permanent basis, then at the time of accepting the inheritance, the heir is considered to have accepted it. If you do not want to accept the inheritance in this case, then you need to write an appropriate refusal statement. This can be done within 6 months. The issue is regulated by Article 1270 of the Civil Code of Ukraine.
  • The term specified in the previous paragraph has been extended during martial law. Now it is 10 months. But when martial law ceases to apply, the previous term will be relevant again.

Therefore, summing up, it should be noted that the acceptance of an inheritance burdened with debt can have many "pitfalls". This does not mean that it must be abandoned, but it will be useful to enlist the help of professional lawyers.

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Head of family law practice

Expert in the field of family, civil, labor law, intellectual property law.

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