Despite the pain associated with the disappearance of a parent, the heirs should not delay in making an appointment with a notary, in order to open the succession. This ministerial officer is, in fact, the only one empowered to establish various official acts.
He must list, by means of an inventory, all the elements constituting the heritage of the deceased, inquire about any arrangements made by the latter (wills, legacies, donations), and take stock of outstanding debts. He must also ensure that all heirs are properly identified.
This information will be useful for reconstructing the state of the deceased person’s assets and determining the share of each on the basis of the rules of the hereditary reserve and the available portion.
Respect the schedule
The notary is also responsible for completing the inheritance tax declaration so that the heirs pay the amount of the rights. Regarding this payment, the schedule is rather strict. “The declaration must be filed and paid for at the tax office of the deceased’s domicile no later than the last day of the sixth month of the day after the death, with an end-of-month tolerance”, says Boris Vienne, notary in Cornebarrieu (Haute-Garonne). Note: if the death occurred abroad, the period is extended to twelve months.
One thing is certain: “The heirs must decide fairly quickly whether or not to sell the property(ies), especially if they need this sale to pay inheritance tax”, specifies Murielle Gamet, notary at the Cheuvreux office (Paris). If the six or twelve month deadline is not respected – due to disagreement among siblings, for example – the heirs are liable to tax penalties equivalent to 0.20% of the fees due per month of delay. . Beyond one year, this financial penalty rises to 10%. “And there is a good chance that with the recent surge in inflation these penalties will be raised”explains Boris Vienna.
The intervention of the notary is also necessary to draw up an act of notoriety. Compulsory as soon as the estate is greater than or equal to 5,000 euros, this document proves the quality of an heir vis-à-vis third parties and allows administrative procedures to be carried out with banks, insurance companies and other organisations. This act is invoiced at around 200 euros, plus 25 euros in registration fees to be paid to the Public Treasury.
“A deed of partition is not obligatory, but necessary if one of the heirs decides to retain exclusive ownership of a property. This document establishes the new identity of the owner, subject to the payment to the co-heirs of the value of the share called “soulte””, specifies Nathalie Couzigou-Suhas, notary in Paris. This sharing entails the payment of registration fees amounting to 2.5% of the shared net assets, plus 0.1% for the property security contribution.
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