Debt collection from a deceased person: how it works

Recupero crediti da persona deceduta

Recovering credits can reserve some more difficulties in the event of the debtor’s death and consequent transfer of the debt to the heirs . In deciding the steps to be taken, the obligations and rights of those who find themselves in the particular condition of having to manage the pending actions of the deceased must necessarily be considered.

First step to recover the credit from a deceased person: trace the heirs

A procedure of credit recovery that aims at optimizing time and resources always includes some preliminary investigation phases useful for evaluating real times and possibilities to reach the goal.

A preliminary analysis will also allow you to investigate and verify the financial position of the debtor to understand if and to what extent he will be able to meet the commitment. In the case of debt collection from a deceased person, the procedure cannot ignore, and is sometimes complex, the search for heirs . These can be traced through the will, if existing, or by using the family status to identify the beneficiaries of the legitimate share.

This is not a simple operation in terms of retrieving the necessary information relating to the heirs and their identification with the consequent request to pay the debt, but it is still part of one of the possible steps required.

If the heirs cannot be traced, there is the possibility of contacting a Court to appoint a trustee of the inheritance who will take care of its management. It can greatly facilitate everything rely on lawyers and specialized consultants both for the investigation phase and to solicit payment once the heir or heirs have been identified, and where possible reach a rapid and definitive resolution of the dispute.

Second step: inheritance debts

Once the heirs have been identified, different paths open up depending on how they have decided to manage their position. A designated heir can accept the inheritance or choose to renounce it or, again, accept it with an inventory right . Each of these choices has different effects on the creditor’s rights than the debts left by the deceased.

The renunciation of the inheritance frees an heir from any obligation towards the creditor . The simple acceptance of the inheritance, on the other hand, means that the heir is required to answer for the debt that he has in fact inherited together with the assets of the deceased. Debts and inheritance burdens are divided among the heirs in proportion to the share of inheritance due ( article 752 of the Civil Code Civil ) unless otherwise specified in the will. The creditor can at this point move towards the individual heirs, proceeding with a payment notice which also has the purpose of interrupting the relative prescription. Each heir is required to personally pay off the debt exclusively pro quota hereditary. On the basis of Article 754 of the Civil Code, a co-heir who is liable for the debt in addition to the share incumbent on him can then retaliate against the other co-heirs, always within the part for which they were originally called to contribute. The legatee is not required to answer for inheritance debts ( article 756 of Code Civil Code ).

The heirs are required to cover the debt also using, if necessary, their own assets, unless they proceed with the acceptance of the inheritance with benefit of inventory (article 490 of the Civil Code ). Having expressed this particular will with a notarial deed, the heirs obtain that their personal patrimony is distinct from the inherited patrimony. It follows that it is impossible for the creditor to obtain from each heir a sum greater than the share of assets that he has received as an inheritance, regardless of whether this sum fully satisfies the request.

When an heir aims to avoid the simple acceptance of the inheritance in order not to answer for the debt of the deceased or at least not with his personal assets, there are legal terms and deadlines to be respected in order to proceed with both the refusal of the inheritance and its acceptance with benefit of inventory, as well as to carry out the inventory itself. It is in the interest of those who initiate debt collection from a deceased person to enter these phases with the appropriate and opportune times , better if supported by professionals specialists in the sector, in order to understand how many and what opportunities disposes to fully recover the sums due to him.

Now that you have all the necessary information, don’t waste time and money, your credits are waiting to be recovered!


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    Credit Group Italia is accredited by the Bankruptcy Section of the Court of Milan as a judicial and extrajudicial debt collection company.