Bankruptcy by inheriting a property?

by David Lorenzo on August 1, 2013

(Spanish Law) Could it be possible to get Bankruptcy by inheriting a property? Yes. Weeks ago some news shocked everyone in the newspapers of Spain, an old woman from Jaén, after losing her daughter by her partner, was obliged to pay the debts of both, having accepted the inheritance of his daughter and ignoring or may not have been clearly informed, that when she accepted the inheritance, not only acquired the property (in this case a flat), but also the debts.

Now she is facing a terrible situation, she could lose not only the home of her daughter but her own home, because she can’t pay these debts.

Could this situation have been avoided? Yes, by the acceptance of inheritance with “Benefit of Inventory” but what is this? With the acceptance of the inheritance with “Benefit of Inventory” there is an absolute separation between the hereditary patrimony and heritage of the heir exempting it from liability for the debts of the deceased.

The debts are paid from the estate, but if it fails to meet them, creditors can not claim the heir the portion not covered. Only the remaining assets when any remains after payment of all debts it is divided among the heirs.

In essence, with the acceptance with “Benefit of Inventory”:

  • The liability of the heir is limited: This is only liable if the debts of the deceased far cover the assets of the estate.
  • The estate’s assets are not going to be confused with the heir’s assets.
  • In case there are debts, they will first be paid to creditors in the order stating and divide the remaining assets and rights to the heirs.

Therefore, when there are doubts about the inheritance, it is advisable to proceed accepting by “Benefit of Inventory”, this will avoid disappointments and unpleasant surprises for everyone, and if you are in this situation David Lorenzo can help you smooth out this process from UK, avoiding travel and lots of expenses..

David Lorenzo

David Lorenzo

Spanish Lawyer UK at Birchall Blackburn
David Lorenzo, Spanish Lawyerin UK, member of the Bar of Madrid and based in Manchester, specialized in international issues regarding Spain
David Lorenzo
David Lorenzo
David Lorenzo

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