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How to speed up an inheritance: methods and advice from notaries

Living a succession can be a long and complex process. However, with a littleorganization and anticipationit is possible to manage this stage of life effectively in order toavoid conflict and protecting family assets.

In this article, we offer you tips and methods to speed up succession and make payment easier. Stay well until the end, to receive the personalized advice by Maître ROLAIN-BERARDI and Maître LHUILLIER. 🙌

The role of the notary and the steps to follow in a succession

Understand the role of the notary in succession.

Firstly, it is crucial to understanding the role of the notary in the estate.

This legal professional is responsible for design and document storage and inheritance deeds. He also assesses the estate's assets and debts, and ensures that the heirs receive their respective shares, taking into account the rights and obligations of each. 

Find out more about time limits for the notary to manage an estatefollow this link. 👈

The main stages of an estate

1. Call in a notary as soon as possible after the death of the person making the inheritance. 

2. Prepare all necessary documents to facilitate access to useful information concerning the estate, such as : 

  • The deceased's family record book 
  • Deeds of ownership of real estate, movable property or financial securities
  • Marriage contracts or other elements used to determine the matrimonial regime applicable to the estate 
  • Deeds of gift or other documents relating to gifts between spouses 
  • The deceased's will, if any. 

3. Actively participate in the administrative steps required to facilitate the settlement of the estate. This may involve :  

  • Declaring the deceased's income and real estate assets to the tax authorities 
  • Property formalities (transfer of ownership, local tax declarations, etc.) 
  • Payment of transfer duties (or notary fees) payable by heirs on their share of the inheritance. 

4. Anticipate and resolve problems that may arise during the estate settlement process. For example, in the event of disagreement between heirs, or to manage the case of an heir benefiting from specific legal protection (guardianship, curatorship...). 

Tips and methods to speed up estate settlement ⏰

The best way tospeed up the procedure is work closely with the notary and follow its recommendations.  

Indeed, a good communication between the various parties involved helps to prevent potential conflicts and complications, and toto avoid delays in the succession process. 

Maintain good communication between parties 

To maintain good communication between the parties, it is advisable to : 

  • Organize with the notary and all the heirs to make regular meetings and follow the progress of the case, share information and discuss the various options with a view to reaching an amicable settlement.
  • Keep all heirs informed of progress of the settlement, even those who live abroad or are less directly involved in the estate.
  • Drafting an agreement and submit it to the notary(ies) for approval before signing. 

Inventory and valuation of real estate and assets 📝

For facilitate inventory of estate assets (assets and liabilities) and estimating their value, it's important to adopt a few best practices:

  • Provide the notary with all the necessary essential documents (see list above).
  • Ask theexpert help for the valuation of complex assets such as real estate properties, family businesses, etc.
  • Ask each heir to draw up a complete written list of the elements he claims or disputes in the estate, so that he can calmly begin the negotiation and division phase.

Digital heritage inventory 

Digital heritage also needs to be carefully inventoried, as it has a great deal of potential. both sentimental and financial value. It includes accounts for social networksdigital wallets, cryptocurrenciesaccess to cell phone, computer and much more. As heirs, access to this type of asset can be both comforting and a pleasant surprise, increasing the value of the estate.  

✅ Make sure your estate is complete!

Managing the specificities of family businesses and real estate 🏠

Inheritances involving family businesses and the property assets often require special treatment, to take account of the financial, economic or tax issues specific to these areas.  

It is therefore recommended to : 

  • Consult a chartered accountant to assess the economic and financial situation of the family business, in order to consider the best options for its transfer (sale, takeover by an heir, incorporation, etc.).
  • Implementing a rigorous management of real estate assets the deceased, in particular by ensuring payment of rents, utilities and taxes, regular upkeep of the property, etc.
  • Optimizing taxation related to inheritance tax, by judiciously dividing the assets among the heirs and giving priority to techniques that reduce the total cost of the operation: temporary donation of usufruct, dismemberment of ownership, various exemptions, etc. 

Advice from Marianne Rolain-Berardi, Notary in Nice (06)

"I strongly advise you to draw up a will including the necessary instructions for the smooth running of the estate. 📝

If you wish to passing on your digital heritageIn the case of social networks, online storage, various online accounts, etc., it is necessary to declare them in your will.

For example, more and more people have Paypal accounts to send and receive payments. If you have one, don't forget to mention it and make sure your heirs can access it! ✅ "

Advice from Charlotte Lhuillier, Notary in Carnoux en Provence (13)

"We need anticipate succession.

This means having a suitable matrimonial or civil partnership regime (when the person concerned is married or in a civil partnership), passing on or starting to passing on your estate during your lifetime and inform your loved ones of the arrangements you have made (will or other) and prepare an administrative file for them for the big day (Binder with lists of assets, banks, the existence of cryptocurrencies etc... to help the notary in his future research work).

For this, you need to contact your notary, because advice from a notary is free of charge. We mustn't forget that the notary also performs a public service mission for his fellow citizens, and that this often saves people from making mistakes that can have serious consequences at every level.

Secondly, you need to maintain as many links as possible with your family in the broadest sense of the term, especially when this includes members who have no children of their own, or who are disabled or under legal protection.

Indeed, the first two documents requested by the notary for anyone wishing to open an inheritance file: thedeath certificate of the deceased and the copy of the deceased's family record book and heirs in order to establish the legal devolution when the succession is intestate (i.e. a succession settled in the absence of a last will and testament).

Finally, as soon as the death occurs, contact a notary to find out at least the steps to be taken by the heirs, even if the deceased's assets are not very large or consist only of securities.

In a nutshell, to speed up succession, it's essential to be well organized from the very start of the process, in close collaboration with a notary and, if necessary, other specialized experts.

The simplest thing to do is to think ahead and protecting what matters in our lifetime. On Legapass, you can easily make an inventory of your assets and transmit your access codes in total security. 🔐

The aim is to simplify administrative procedures, avoid conflicts between heirs and optimize management of the family estate, while minimizing tax and other inheritance-related costs.

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