The way to inheritance – how does an inheritance work?

After the death of a loved one, an inheritance and the community of heirs face each other. But who gets what only becomes clear when the estate is divided. What happens if the heirs disagree on the distribution of the estate?

What is the division of the estate?

A division of the estate is generally understood to mean the distribution of the estate to the heirs or legatees. In the division of the estate, one determines the value of the inheritance, pays the debts of the testator and distributes the surplus to the heirs. As soon as the entire inheritance is liquidated, the division of the estate is completed and the community of heirs dissolves.

Any heir can at any time request the division of the estate. By doing this, they set the Inheritance in progress. In principle, the distribution of the inheritance is a matter for the heirs. However, the testator can order in his will how his estate should be divided. However, if the heirs vote unanimously against the observance of the orders, they do not have to observe them any further. The testator can also appoint a person capable of acting as executor in his will during his lifetime. He instructs him to carry out the division of the estate according to his will.

What distinguishes the community of heirs

The heirs of an estate form together a so-called community of heirs. they are Joint owner of all items in the inheritance. They must or may decide together on inheritance rights. There is an exception to this principle if something else has been agreed by law or contract. The heirs have equal rights among each other. The law obliges the heirs to share all important information with the community of heirs so that the division of the estate can be carried out fairly.

How is the division of the estate completed?

The community of heirs can either form so-called “lots” and divide them up among themselves or conclude an inheritance agreement (see: Submission of an inheritance agreement in our download center). This contract must be handwritten by each contracting party (by all heirs). As a result of both approaches, the community of heirs dissolves. Each heir becomes the new owner of the property that has been assigned to him.

Special cases of the division of inheritance

Would a The item will lose its value considerably as a result of the division, so one assigns it to a single heir. Likewise, things that belong together are usually not separated from each other when dividing an inheritance. Examples of this are parcels of securities with a majority shareholding, certain collections, pieces of jewelery that belong together, etc. If the heirs do not agree on the allocation of an item, they are sold and the proceeds distributed. In addition, any heir can object to the alienation of family manuscripts. This makes particular sense if the personal value is significantly higher than the economic sales value.

Here are some things to keep in mind

  • Think about whether you would like to appoint an executor for your estate.
  • In the case of special items, it may make sense to assign them to a specific heir or legatee in your will.

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