Chapter 15: Succession Law.
When someone dies, one or several persons have to take charge of his rights and obligations. the state of a decedent comprises not only all kinds of property and rights owned by him, but also his debts and obligations. The succesion law determines the destiny of all properties and patrimonial relations of the decedent, whether active or passive. The succesion can take place by virtue of an express appointment. The succession can be universal (all the rights and obligations and the heir is the universal successor) or singular (only succeeds to the rights of the decedent ina single right. They are called legaletees.) THE HEIR:
is the universal successor to the entire rights and obligations of the decedent which are subject to be transmitted. The heir can be appointed by the decedent or by the law. Here we note that the Spanish law admits the possibility to appoint in testament a person who shall receive the inheritance when the appointed heir dies. When there are several heirs to the decedent, they shall inherit as co-heirs and each of them becomes an undivided owner of the effects of the succession for the part or portion coming to him. Acceptance of the inheritance: but the heir only acquires his position as such from the moment he accepts the inheritance. When the person called to the inheritance accepts it, he acquires the right from the death of the decedent. The acceptance of the inheritance is not only retroactive but also pure, indivisible and irrevocable. The main effect of the acceptance of the inheritance is the acquisition thereof and the assumption of the position as heir of the decedent. The benefit of the inventory: in order to limit this liability, the heir has the possibility to ask for the enjoyment of the "benefit of inventory". If the heir gets the benefit of inventory he shall be liable for the charges of the succession only to the value of the effects of the inheritance. In this case, his own patrimony shall not be affected by the debts, legacies and charges of the succession. The heir who wishes to enjoy the benefit of inventory has to make a formal statement in this regard before a Notary Public. The term to ask for the benefit of inventory varies depending on if the heir has the assets of the inheritance in his possession or not. He shall make the request for the benefit of inventory or for deliberation within ten days from the day on which he has had knowledge of his condition. TESTAMENTARY OR VOLUNTARY SUCCESSION: THE WILL. THE LEGITIME: The Civil Law grants everybody the possibility to establish who shall inherit and the way in which he wants to be suceeded. When someone voluntarily decides his succession we talk about testamentary or voluntary succession. -Testament or will: A testament is a unilateral act because only the testator makes the disposition of his patrimony. A testament is also a personal act, in the sense that only one person dispose of his assets by testament and that ist formation cannot be entrusted to third parties. However, this does not prevent the possibility to entrust to a third party the distribution of the sums that the testator leaves in general to determined groups (charities, to the poor...) Testaments are also formal acts. Testaments shall only be valid if executed in the form required by law. .capacity to testate: anybody can testate unless expresly prohibited by law: minors under fourteen years cannot make a valid testament and persons permanently or accidentally out of their rights minds do not have capacity to testate. A person incapacitated can make testament if the decision declaring his incapacitation does not contain a statement about his capacity to testate. .kinds of testaments: the Civil Code differentiates between common and special testaments depending on if they are made in normal or special circumstances. Common or ordinary testaments have general requirements of form and can be used by anybody having...
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