5 Documents Needed for a Succession
When settling an estate, different types of documents are drawn up. To simplify your life and clarify the process, we have compiled a list of the 5 most frequently required documents.
1. Drawing up the deed of notoriety
The deed of notoriety designates the heirs of the estate.
To establish such a deed, the notary needs supporting documents such as the death certificate, the deceased’s birth certificate or his family record book. Indeed, banking institutions systematically require that the heirs provide them with a notoriety act. In practice, this act is important because it allows to:
– Free up the assets held in the deceased’s accounts.
– Obtain the payment of a survivor’s pension or any other claim due by an administration.
Necessary: the drawing up of a notarial deed does not imply the acceptance of the estate by the heirs.
Often, people called “witnesses,” such as relatives and friends, who know the deceased and his family situation well enough, sign the act of notoriety to confirm the statements of the heirs.
For small estates of a lesser amount, the heir status can also be derived from a certificate of inheritance issued by the town hall. An heir can obtain the debit of the deceased’s accounts for the payment of conservatory acts or the closing of the deceased’s accounts and the payment of the sums in them. For this purpose, a certificate signed by all the heirs authorizing one of them to collect the sums in the deceased’s accounts on their behalf is sufficient. However, the mayor has the right to refuse to issue such a document, and the certificate of inheritance is destined to disappear.
2. Carry out or have carried out an appraisal of the estate assets
The valuation of the estate assets is essential because it is on this basis that the notary fees and estate taxes will be determined.
– If the property’s value exceeds the market price, the fees increase.
– Conversely, if it is too low, the heirs risk an adjustment by the tax authorities.
They may also have to pay a higher capital gains tax in the case of a resale a few years after the estate.
In practice, different situations arise.
– The notaries have valuation tools to appraise the property themselves.
– Otherwise, the heirs can always call upon a real estate expert registered on the lists of the judicial court or the court of appeal.
Finally, the valuation can be done by a real estate agent; in this case, it is recommended to have 3 appraisals to determine a reasonable value.
3. Drawing up a certificate of ownership
The notary draws up a certificate of ownership or real estate certificate only when the estate includes real estate.
This deed establishes the transfer of the deceased’s real estate to his heirs.
Once published at the land registry office responsible for the location of each property, this deed will constitute the title of ownership of the heirs.
Please note: the certificate of ownership allows the land registry to be updated so that the property tax can be established without error.
4. Drawing up the declaration of inheritance
The declaration of inheritance is an accounting portrait of the situation of the deceased’s assets on the day of his death.
It is established:
– By the notary, if the estate is substantial, it is essential to know the tax rules to complete it correctly.
– By the heirs themselves when the estate is not very large and does not include any real estate.
Good to know: as the heirs are jointly and severally liable for the payment of the inheritance tax, only one inheritance declaration is established for all the heirs. It must then be filed with the tax authorities (tax department of the deceased’s residence).
If the declaration is not filed on time, interest is charged per month for the amount of tax not paid within the time limit.
In the case of inheritances in the direct line, between spouses or partners in a civil union, no declaration is required if the gross assets of the estate are small. For other heirs whose gross assets of the estate are higher than a certain amount (please check with your notary), the declaration must be made.
5. Drawing up a deed of partition
Partition is the last step in settlement of an estate, but it is not obligatory since the heirs may decide to remain in indivision.
Moreover, the heirs may proceed with the partition, except for real estate or business assets. In this case, the division must be notarized and published at the land registry office (formerly the mortgage registry).
The equality in the sharing is equal in value, that is to say, that each heir called “co-sharer” receives goods for a value equal to his rights in succession.