Does the deceased’s inheritance also include debts?

Does the deceased’s inheritance also include debts?

It should be noted that the inheritance that the testator leaves to his heirs includes not only assets, but also liabilities. Inheritance debts are primarily debts incurred by the testator during his lifetime. Inheritance debts include, for example: an obligation to repay a loan from a bank, an obligation to pay for purchases made, an obligation to pay overdue rent.

Liability for inheritance debts also includes tax debts, which include, for example, tax arrears, interest on arrears.

The heir has several options for action. He can reject the inheritance in its entirety, accept it outright or accept it with the benefit of inventory. A declaration of acceptance or rejection of the inheritance can be made within 6 months before a court or before a notary.

Rejecting the inheritance seems to be the best option if one does not want to settle the debts of the deceased. This solution is often chosen by heirs who find out that the debts included in the inheritance are higher than the assets left behind. If the heir decides to reject the inheritance, he is excluded from the inheritance.

Once the inheritance is accepted, the limit of the heir’s liability depends on whether the inheritance is accepted by him directly or with the benefit of inventory. If the inheritance is accepted with the benefit of inventory, the heir is liable for the testator’s debts only up to the value of the inheritance. Thus, in the worst case scenario, the heir “comes out at zero”. If, on the other hand, the inheritance is accepted outright, the liability for inheritance debts is unlimited. Therefore, if the debts are high, the heir may not only gain nothing from the simple acceptance of the inheritance, but even still lose his own property.

In summary, in the inheritance of a deceased loved one we may inherit not only the property left behind, but also unpaid loans, credits and bills not paid on time. If you have any doubts about what to do with unwanted debt included in the inherited estate, it is worth going to a lawyer.

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Inheritance in Poland