The notary's duties in the event of an inheritance

Flora Minaire
April 8, 2024
5 min. of reading
Duties of the Notary on Succession

Succession is a complex and delicate process which, if not carefully managed, can lead to serious complications for all parties involved. The notary, as a trusted legal professional, plays a crucial role in ensuring that the deceased's wishes are respected and that the inheritance is preserved for future generations. In this article, we will explore in detail the duties of the notary during an inheritance, from the responsibilities he has towards heirs and third parties to how he can ensure compliance with his legal obligations.

The notary's legal obligations in matters of succession

Definition of the notary's duties in the event of an inheritance

The notary's duties in relation to an estate are defined by the Civil Code and the Notarial Code of Ethics. These duties include safeguarding the interests of the heirs, respecting professional secrecy, drafting authentic deeds and ensuring that the deceased's wishes are carried out.

Common problems associated with not fulfilling the notary's obligations

Failure to meet these obligations can lead to costly and protracted disputes. Failure to collect all assets is one of the most common irregularities.

This is all the more true for digital assets which, if not inventoried, are difficult to identify. Even if they are identified, it is often even more difficult to access them.

A specific solution for recording and transmitting accesses, such as Solal Tech, is essential to ensure that digital assets are included in the inheritance and avoid any malpractice on the part of the notary.

Solutions to ensure compliance with the notary's obligations

Ongoing training, the adoption of new management tools and the improvement of notarial practices are all ways of ensuring that notaries meet their obligations. Similarly, mediation and alternative dispute resolution solutions can prevent or resolve conflicts.

The main stages in a notary's involvement in an estate

Analysis of estate situation

The notary must begin with an exhaustive analysis of the deceased's situation in order to identify all the elements of the estate. This involves consulting various registers (land, civil, etc.) as well as researching digital assets, an increasingly crucial task in the digital age.

Drawing up notarial deeds relating to the estate

Once the inventory has been drawn up, the notary draws up the notarial deeds required by the heirs. The notary is responsible for ensuring that the inheritance procedure complies with legal requirements, and for safeguarding confidential data.

Follow-up and assistance until the estate is closed

The notary accompanies the heirs at every stage of the succession process, from the communication of assets to the final distribution. He or she must also ensure that assets are properly administered and debts settled.

The notary's responsibilities towards heirs and third parties

Transparency and information for heirs

The notary is obliged to provide heirs with a full and transparent explanation of their situation, their rights and the succession process. It is essential for the notary to ensure that heirs understand the legal implications, potential challenges and specific clauses that may affect their inheritance, guiding them through each stage of the succession procedure with clarity and support.

Protecting the rights of interested third parties

It is also the notary's responsibility to defend the rights of third parties, notably by preventing fraud or misappropriation of inheritance. Notaries play a crucial role in ensuring that transactions and legal documents are carried out ethically and in accordance with the law, thus protecting the interests of all parties involved.

Diligent management of estate assets

The notary must guarantee the preservation of the estate's assets, particularly during periods of legal unavailability when assets cannot be sold, bequeathed or modified, in order to be claimed by potential creditors. This responsibility involves safeguarding assets, maintaining their value and meticulously managing any documentation required to protect the interests of all parties involved in the inheritance process.

Notaries' best practices for fulfilling their duties in an estate

Keep your legal and tax knowledge up to date

Notaries need to keep abreast of the latest legal and tax developments, so they can apply them to the management of estates. This includes ongoing training and familiarity with current laws and regulations.

Use effective management tools

The use of modern management tools can greatly facilitate the notary's task when dealing with an estate. This includes the use of specialized software for document and asset management.

With its solution, Solal Tech enables notaries to include digital assets in the inheritance estate, thus fulfilling their duties to ensure a smooth succession.

Communicating effectively with stakeholders

Transparent communication with heirs and other stakeholders is essential for a smooth succession. The notary must therefore be a skilled and empathetic mediator. He or she must also ensure that all parties clearly understand their rights and obligations, to avoid any misunderstanding or conflict.

Anticipate potential conflicts and deal with them proactively

By identifying sources of conflict from the outset, the notary can include conciliation clauses in the deeds and thus anticipate the need for mediation to settle any disputes. This can avoid delays and additional costs for heirs.

Succession is a difficult time for heirs. The role of the notary is to support them in this process, while respecting his legal and ethical duties to ensure that the estate is passed on in accordance with the wishes of the deceased. By pursuing an approach that is both preventive and reactive, and by demonstrating constant expertise and open communication, the notary can contribute to the protection of everyone's interests and the smooth running of the estate.

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