Succession Handling (5/5): The Distribution of Property

If the succession is not particularly complex, the notary will gather the heirs for a third and last appointment, taking place approximately four months after the passing. It marks the end of the whole succession process and leads to the actual distribution of property. 

Fifth step: The inheritance act and the distribution of property

Filing of the inheritance tax return and payment of inheritance tax

First of all, the heirs will be asked to sign the various inheritance acts, including the inheritance tax return, which will later be filed to the tax authorities (within four months after the decease). Remember that this document does not specify “who takes what” but how much each of the heirs will inherit. Those then have to pay the inheritance tax due (and the notary will take care of transfering the total amount to the administration).

 

The distribution of property

Once the inheritance tax return has been filed, the heirs may receive their share of the estate, according to their respective rights and, possibly, to their wishes. As the “bundles” may not be exactly of the same amount, the notary has the right to “restore equality” by making sure that the “disadvantaged” heirs receive monetary compensations. All these elements are officially recorded in a document called “the act of distribution”. 

 

What's more

Besides the distribution of property, the notary will also make sure that potential tenants (if any) or the syndicate of co-ownership (if applicable) are being contacted. Furthermore, if vehicles are part of the succession, the notary will provide the heirs with a document allowing them to register the car under their name or to sell it. 

 

What should we remember from this series of steps?

Handling a succession is a long process that may be complex and is often very time-consuming. Indeed, even in the case of “simple successions”, the process lasts about four months. Moreover, following the various steps leading to the distribution of property usually requires an excellent knowledge of civil and tax law, regular contact with different administration bodies (especially to obtain all the required documents) as well as good organisation skills to make sure that you follow the right path without forgetting any important step. Yet, the deceased’s relatives and the heirs usually already have a lot of formalities to handle (organise the funeral, unblock bank accounts, terminate the contracts...). Furthermore, they need to take time for themselves in order to grieve their loss. Therefore, the best solution is for them to be supported by professionals that will help them step after step.

If you are facing this situation, do not hesitate to contact the Morning Blue team. Our experts will provide you with advice and, if needed, put you in contact with selected experts to allow you to save your time and energy to deal with the passing. 

Check out all the articles from our series "Effective Succession Handling":

  1. Succession handling (1/5): The Notary
  2. Succession handling (2/5): The Inheritance File
  3. Succession handling (3/5): The Act of Heredity
  4. Succession handling (4/5): The Inheritance Tax Return
  5. Succession handling (5/5): The Distribution of Property