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Anticipatory enjoyment of the inheritance in the light of the equality among heirs.

When a person dies without leaving a will, his inheritance will be divided in accordance with the principle of equality. This means that the heirs who are equally related to him (e.g. his children) will receive an identical share. This principle of equality among heirs is not mandatory; inequality can indeed be created by making gifts or writing a will, as long as the protected heirs receive their minimum share in the estate of the deceased.

It is remarkable that most legal systems, including Belgium, apply a corrective mechanism to undo this inequality when the giver dies: collation. This technique prevents an heir from cumulating the gratuitous benefit from the deceased with his legal share in the inheritance. The benefit is treated as if it where only meant as an advance on this share.

The concept of collation raises various questions. Why are (some) gratuitous benefits, given by the deceased to one of his heirs, considered to be an advance, and is this qualification approvable? What kind of gratuitous benefits should be subject to such a system? Has the giver anything to say about this field of application and which formalities should he comply with then?

The research gives an answer to these questions by comparing the regimes of collation in different legal systems.

Date:1 Oct 2013 →  12 Jun 2018
Keywords:Anticipatory enjoyment, Inheritance, Equality among heirs
Disciplines:Law, Other law and legal studies
Project type:PhD project