The law organizes the transmission of a deceased person's property.
If the deceased was not married, his property passes, in order :
- - to his children and their descendants,
- - to his father and mother, brothers and sisters and their descendants,
- - grandparents, great-grandparents, and more distant ancestors,
- - uncles and aunts, cousins.
If the deceased has only very distant relatives (beyond the 6th degree), his or her estate goes to the State.
When the deceased is married and has children:
If all the children of the deceased were born from the union with his or her spouse, the surviving spouse may choose to receive:
- - Either theusufruct of all of the decedent's property, which allows him or her to use it but not to sell or give it away.
- - Or one quarter of the deceased's property in full ownership.
When the deceased had children with someone other than the current spouse, the surviving spouse receives one-quarter of the deceased's property in full ownership.
When the decedent is married, but leaves no children or descendants, the spouse receives:
- - One-half of his or her property if the decedent still has a father and mother,
- - ¾ of his property if the deceased has only one parent left,
- - All of his property if the deceased no longer has his parents.
Note: it is possible to plan who will receive our assets after our death by making a will. The law offers a relatively important freedom. However, there is a limit: children (and their descendants) as well as the surviving spouse (in the absence of descendants) are reserved heirs. It is not possible to deprive them of their share of the inheritance.