The fourth falcidia: how to insure an inheritance?
When we inherit, we are often concerned about the legal and tax consequences. Sometimes, once all the legacies have been distributed, the main heir is left with a remainder so low that it does not even reach the minimum that the law recognises. That is why, in Catalonia, the heir can claim the fourth falcidia or minimum inheritance quota. Agent 11Onze Jordi Coll summarises what this consists of.
Coll explains that the fourth falcidia, also known as the minimum inheritance quota, is regulated by article 427.40 of the Inheritance Code of Catalonia. It is a legal figure whose purpose is to guarantee the heir a minimum share of the inheritance, at least a quarter of the estate, when this is disproportionately encumbered by legacies or by rights in rem, such as mortgages or other assets.
Imagine, for example, that there are many beneficiaries in an estate and the main heir, with so many legacies to be distributed, realises that he or she will have almost nothing left. In this case, the heir is entitled to the fourth falcidia, i.e. he or she has the right to secure a quarter of the inheritance, even if this means reducing the inheritance of the other beneficiaries a little. The fourth falcidia is, therefore, a guarantee offered by Catalan law.
“If the heir sees that what has been left to him or her in inheritance does not cover 25% of the 75% of the inherited assets, he or she can claim the fourth falcidia. The other 25% is for the corresponding legitimacy rights of the persons to be inherited, whether or not they are the same heir or heirs,” the agent explains. Thus, the fourth falcidia acts as a limiter of the testator’s powers. This protects the principal heir and prevents him from having to renounce the inheritance for a small bequest.
Even so, it must be borne in mind that, if he or she accepts it, he or she will not only have to assume the responsibility for the payment of the bequests or legitimate, among other burdens, but, in the event that there is any debt of the testator, he or she will also have to take care of it. Therefore, before accepting an inheritance laden with legacies and obligations, it is necessary for a legal expert to carry out a study to assess whether it is really worth it. In this sense, the fourth estate provides some certainty that the heir will be able to pay all these expenses.
Do you want to know what requirements have to be met to be able to claim the fourth falcidia and how it is calculated? Just watch the video below!
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