The acceptance may be:
● expressed i.e. contained in a public document or private writing;
● tacit, following the commission of an act which necessarily implies the willingness to accept;
● acceptance with benefit of inventory, which allows and ensures consistency (if your debts do not exceed the debts and assets) of the assets of the deceased.
The express acceptance is made before a notary or the clerk of the court where the succession was opened . It must be drawn up in writing and necessarily reflects a registration fee .
The other key features that the act does not permit are terms or conditions . If there are, the act is null and void. Another condition that makes it null is partial acceptance: for example, not only can there not be the case of agreement to inherit the goods but not the debts of the deceased but also to agree to inherit the house of the deceased for example but not the garage. If the heir wishes to transfer some assets or a portion of inheritance they must first accept it, pay any associated charges (duties) to the extent of his responsibilities to be split between the co-owners (if any) and only then can proceed to allocate assets or shares of the estate (which in the meantime will become part of their assets) to a third party.
The nullity of the act does not mean the named loses the right to accept, this can be exercised at a later time (of course, always within the limitation period of ten years).
The tacit acceptance occurs when the named to inherit commits acts “conclusive and unambiguous meaning, from which they follow their willingness to accept.” There are basically two hypotheses . The first, genuine tacit acceptance concerns management of heredity in which you replace the heir to the deceased. For example, if you pay off some debt with money taken from the inheritance or, conversely, whether collecting receivables arising from the inheritance.
In the latter case, some lawyers do not see precisely tacit acceptance but implicit acceptance (“operation of law”, against the wishes of the deceased ) . This is when acceptance occurs because the heir disposes (“steals”) assets of the estate at their own convenience. The most typical example: if the named heir transfers his residence to the home of the deceased’s property. Here also, of course, the principle that the implicit acceptance cannot be confined to an asset or a portion of heredity but is true for everything, even if the named is already in possession or uses only a portion of the inheritance itself. The principle is that ” if they behave as the heir, if they have the right to inherit, they are the heir”.
It ‘s debatable whether there is a tacit acceptance only if the named party takes possession of movable property of the deceased for themselves or for others. Normally it is considered that there is not a tacit acceptance if it is an object of little value taken “to remember” an ornament or a book, for example. On the contrary there is tacit acceptance if the items have a significant market value: to put mother’s diamond ring in your pocket constitutes misappropriation of assets of the estate and therefore, implicit acceptance.
There are also some cases foreseen as legal acceptance, in which the tacit acceptance is automatic by law. One of these relates to the donation, sale or transfer of the rights of succession: If the named heir donates, sells or transfers their rights of succession, this behavior applies as tacit acceptance of heredity. Even the waiver of the rights of succession made for consideration or for the benefit of some of the named heir implies tacit acceptance of heredity .
Acceptance with benefit of inventory is a statement made by a public deed, through which the named heir states to accept the inheritance with benefit of inventory. In this way, they avoid the confusion of their assets with that of the deceased. This means that if the assets of the deceased debts exceed the credits, the heir is not required to pay with their own money, but only with inherited money: the rest of the debts remain unpaid. Whenever there may be reasonable suspicion that the deceased was in debt, it is recommended to ask for a benefit of inventory to avoid bearing the costs. This is particularly important when there is a business to be inherited.