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What happens if a person dies without leaving a will?

The Civil Code contemplates these cases in which the person does not express his will upon death.

Inheriting a property can become a headache for several families who struggle to be the owners of that property that one person leaves behind. In some cases, the conflict is generated even before the family member dies.

The testament is a more or less solemn act, in which a person disposes of all or part of his assets to have full effect after his days. This document expresses the will of the person.

When death is unexpected or there is no legal culture, it can be inherited without the person’s wishes being expressed. The Civil Code establishes that the succession of assets can be testated or intestate.

What happens to properties without heirs in Ecuador?

Article 1023 establishes that for intestate succession the children of the deceased, ascendants, parents, siblings, surviving spouse and the State are called.

The first in the line of succession are the children who exclude the other heirs, without prejudice to the marital portion (article 1028), each one will receive equal shares in case of having more than one child. In the event that he has not left posterity, he will be succeeded by the closest ascendants and the spouse, who will divide the inheritance into two parts.

If there are no parents or ascendants, the inheritance will be for the spouse; In the event that there is no spouse, the inheritance will be for parents or ascendants.

Can the inheritance be left to only one child?

If the person does not have any of the aforementioned heirs, his siblings will succeed him under certain rules:

  • If the deceased has left only full brothers or only half siblings, each of them will receive equal shares; and,
  • If the deceased has left one or more carnal siblings and also one or more half-siblings, each of the former will receive a quota equal to twice that of each of the latter.

How is the distribution of inheritances in Ecuador? Rights and obligations

In the last line of succession are the nephews and the State. The State quota will be half of that portion, if there is a single nephew; a third, if there are two; and a quarter, if there are three or more. (I)

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