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Intestate succession

If you do not name your heirs, intestate succession will apply. The first heirs in line are the deceased’s children. If a child dies before the parent, the child’s children will take his or her place. If there are no heirs of the first degree, the estate will pass to the heirs of the second degree. These are the deceased’s parents or their descendants: siblings, nephews or nieces. If there are no heirs of the first or second degree, the estate will pass to the relatives of the third degree (the deceased’s grandparents or their descendants). Heirs of a closer degree will inherit before heirs of a more remote degree.

The deceased’s surviving spouse will inherit in addition to the blood relatives. Depending on the chosen matrimonial property regime and inheriting relatives, the spouse will inherit one-quarter, one-third or one-half of the estate. If there are no heirs of the first or second degree and no grandparents, the surviving spouse will inherit everything. The spouse inherits nothing, however, if the marriage had been dissolved by the time the spouse died or if the prerequisites for divorce were met and the deceased had filed for or consented to the divorce.

For illustration
Diagram on intestate succession (Download)