Community of heirs

The community of heirs is made up of the heirs who are, in face, co-heirs. The entire assets of the deceased are transferred to the joint assets of the community of heirs until the settlement of the estate is concluded. The community of heirs, therefore, becomes first of all a joint heir. This does not mean, however, that the individual co-heir may freely dispose of the estate. This is because restrictive rights apply. The power of disposition is limited to the portion of the estate to which a co-heir or co-heirs are entitled. Each disposition must be recorded by a notarial certification.

If a co-heir wishes to sell his or her share of the inheritance to a third party, the community of heirs is entitled to something called a pre-emptive right that allows them to acquire the share within a period of two months. This does not apply to the power of disposal over the estate, which can only be administered jointly by the community of heirs. To simplify matters, the community of heirs can also appoint an estate administrator who can act on their behalf.

In order to avoid discrimination against a co-heir or co-heirs, the consent of all co-heirs is required for all legal transactions. An exception to this rule is made for dispositions which do not affect the general entitlement of the co-heirs. The heirs must also comply with existing obligations of the testator from the estate. If the community of heirs refuses to do so, legal proceedings may be brought against them. Since each co-heir stands on his or her own, only one claim can be made against a specific member of the community of heirs if he or she is not legally capable.