Writing a will or how to avoid a conflict between heirs?

It is common for a death to resurface resentment between the heirs. A poorly prepared succession therefore often turns out to be a source of conflict. During your lifetime you have the power to avoid it, have you thought about writing a will?

How to write a will?

The will is a legal act written by the hand of its author or that of a notary in order to organize his succession during his lifetime. In all, there are four forms of will. The most widely used in France, however, are the holograph will and the authentic will.

The holograph will

The holograph will is the most popular in France, because it is quite simply the least restrictive, the simplest and the cheapest to make. Indeed, it is the only will that can be entirely drawn up in private and directly by the hand of the testator.

A handwritten drafting, signature and date (day, month and year) included or, in the opposite case, it will be declared without legal value. This will also requires great precision in the wording to avoid different interpretations and therefore create conflicts between heirs.

The authentic will

The authentic will is a public legal act that must be carried out in the presence of a notary and two witnesses or of a witness and two notaries. It is said to be authentic, because it is written directly by a ministerial public officer (the notary) on the instructions of the testator (the client).

Its advantage over a holograph will is that, being written and authenticated by a notary, it is the testamentary document naturally in accordance with the civil code. It therefore presents less risk of being contested by the heirs bending, in theory, to the precise wishes of the testator.

Conflicts between heirs

There are countless causes that can lead to conflict between heirs. Without going into an exhaustive list, we can however give some recurring sources: a division of the lots which is not suitable, inheritance rights which are not respected, problems which are linked to life insurance …

In these different cases, the offending heir may come into conflict with his brothers and sisters, the surviving spouse (particularly in the case of blended families) or with a legatee (person receiving all of the deceased’s property).

To make his disagreement or his rights heard, the heir generally refuses to sign the acts of the notary or to respond to solicitations. He thus blocks the succession for an indefinite time and until the dispute is resolved.

Lawyer specializing in inheritance law

When a dispute breaks out and the estate is blocked, calling on a lawyer specializing in inheritance law proves to be a precious help in order to disentangle the litigation between the heirs.

The role of the lawyer in this case is thus to establish a defense strategy in the interests of his client. This usually begins with a negotiation phase in order to try to settle the conflict amicably.

However, in the absence of agreement between the different parties, it is before the Tribunal de Grande Instance that the contentious procedure will be initiated, in order to be decided by the impartiality of a judge. To avoid this delicate situation for your descendants, do not neglect your will.

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