March 23, 2023


When minors are heirs in the distribution of an inheritance, there are various forms of protection of the assets to be inherited and of the minors so that the procedure is as less harmful or problematic as possible for them.

There are several options when it comes to designating someone to be in charge of managing the recumbent inheritance that corresponds to a minor after reading a will and it depends on the circumstances in which the estate is distributed. It will be decisive to know if one of the minor’s parents is alive, if both have died and if there is a divorce or separation involved.

We analyze below what types of scenarios occur in the distribution of the inheritance with minors and what figures can be used in each case to protect their assets. If both parents are alive, the legal representation will correspond to both of them and they will manage the inheritance until the minor is of legal age.

What happens when one of the parents fails?

When one of the two parents of the minor dies, the one who remains alive will be the one in charge of administering his part of the inheritance, since he is the one who holds the parental authority of the minor. However, it is increasingly common that in divorce cases, the deceased person does not want her ex-partner to access the assets that the son or daughter of both will inherit.

Thus, the most common thing is to have a property manager, a very common figure in these cases. The property administrator will only be in charge of attending to what happens with the inheritance and, at no time, will he take care of the minor.

From the Marín & Mateo law firm, they explain that this figure has no power over the education of the heirs and that their work is limited to the administration of the assets that make up the inheritance. add that “the administrator is obliged to follow the instructions of the testator and fulfill his duty with the diligence of a good father of a family, managing the assets in the best interest and being aware that these belong exclusively to the minor and not to him” .

Once the minor reaches the age of majority and has control of his assets, the administrator must give an account of his management during the past years. In fact, in the event that during the exercise of his functions he does not comply with his obligations, the position may be revoked and, at the end of his work, the administrator will face civil and criminal responsibilities for negligence or disloyalty in the administration of the estate.

What happens when both parents fail?

When the deceased have been both parents of the minor, it is imperative to designate a legal guardian, a very different figure from the previous one since in addition to being able to manage the inheritance, they must also be in charge of the education and upbringing of the child.

Typically, the parents’ will designates who will be in charge of the minor, but in the event that there is no mention, the Civil Code dictates that it will be chosen taking into account the following order: the person designated by the ward, the spouse who lives with the ward, the persons designated by the parents in their last will provisions or the descendant, ascendant or sibling designated by the judge. Of course, the judge can alter this order of acquisition for the benefit of the minor if he considers it so.

Thus, in addition to accepting the guardianship of the minor, unlike the administrator, the legal guardian will also be in charge of taking care of the inheritance of the heir until he reaches the age of majority. Of course, taking into account that at no time will he be able to dispose of it as if it were his own.



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