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When it’s time to sell an estate, a liquidator will be assigned

December 2011

This month, we continue our discussion on the legal implications of managing an estate.

In the case of a testamentary succession, the testator usually assigns a liquidator to administrate the succession. In the case of a notarized will, notaries generally grant full administration to the liquidator, which includes the power to sell.

If the will grants simple administration, the liquidator must seek the instruction and permission of the heirs to sell.

However, the liquidator with simple administration can clear debts against the property if they can be paid without selling.

If debts can be paid without the sale of the immovable and the liquidator wants to transfer ownership of the immovable to the heirs indicated in the will, all the liquidator has to do is make a declaration of transmission, transferring ownership of the immovable to the legatees, which is called a declaration of legacy. It is published in the land registry office and the immovable becomes the responsibility of the legatee(s). This type of transaction is best managed by a notary.

If there is no will, there will not be an appointed liquidator. All the legal heirs become responsible for administrating succession. The heirs have to agree and appoint a liquidator with full or simple administrative powers.

With simple administration, the disagreement of just one of the legal heirs can block the sale of the immovable.

It is as like having two or more owners of who want to sell but might not be able to agree on the conditions and/or the price. There is a rare situation in the law that can force a sale when agreement is never reached, but this requires legal proceedings and considerable time. Consequently, it is not often seen.

Should one of the legal heirs want to purchase the property, consent of the others is necessary.

In the presence of a liquidator with full administration, however, the heir must only come to an agreement with the liquidator.

If the liquidator has just simple administration, the heir wanting to purchase the immovable must come to an agreement with all the heirs, once again making the process more complicated and time consuming.

Once agreement has been reached, all the heirs and/or the liquidator will be mentioned as the seller(s) and the heir buying the immovable will be mentioned as the purchaser in the act of sale.

As you can see, the processes outlined in the succession of an immovable can be very complicated, especially when a will does not exist with a specified liquidator and with specific powers.

Consider simplifying the lives of your heirs in their time of grief and sorrow, because the death of a loved one is difficult enough to manage without having to think about how you would have wanted your estate managed after your death.



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