Inheritance Law

Wolfenson Lawyers provides legal advice and support in the sensitive case of the death of a relative or loved one.

The succession by cause of death consists of the way of acquiring the domain of the property that belonged to a deceased person, be it with respect to all the patrimony that belonged to him, a quota of said patrimony, certain things, or indeterminate things.


Taking into consideration the foregoing, it must be understood that the people who are called to succeed the deceased through succession due to death can be of two classes: heirs and legatees. With a variety of cases that may be succinct, we represent our clients in all types of matters involving inheritance or inheritance law, from the drafting of a will, effective possession and even the termination of the hereditary community.

Here is a legal guide to give you general guidance on inheritance law:

How are inheritances classified in Chile?

In general, our legislation classifies inheritances as tested and intestated (abintestate) . Each of them has different legal peculiarities.

What are the inheritances tested?

The inheritances tested are those on which the deceased (deceased) has drafted a will . In such successions, it is necessary to carry out effective possession before a judge , who will divide the assets as established in the last will of the deceased . Notwithstanding that, said will must respect the forced assignments that the law grants to some of the heirs ; which means that the distribution of the assets made in the will must be in accordance with the limits established by law or, failing that, it will run the risk of being judicially reformed . For this, you should always have the advice of an expert lawyer from Wolfenson Abogados .

What are the intestate inheritances or abintestate?

Intestate inheritances are those over which it has not fallen any will. Therefore, the assets of the deceased will be divided among the heirs according to the general rules established in the Civil Code . The effective possession of the inheritance in this case, will be made in the offices of the Civil Registry by any of the heirs. It is necessary to carry out these procedures with the legal advice of a qualified lawyer who avoids future risks and allows the correct distribution of the assets, Wolfenson Abogados provides its clients with rigorous legal advice regarding inheritance.

How is the inheritance divided in Chile?

The answer to this legal question depends on many factors, especially who is the heir . That is, whether or not there is a spouse, children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents, brothers, uncles, etc. The rule is this, inheritance descends vertically, then ascends, and finally extends horizontally. For example, if there are children and one of their parents dies, the assets of the inheritance will be distributed among them, and nothing will fit the parents of the deceased . On the other hand, if there are no children, the inheritance will be divided between the parents of the deceased (and the spouse if they exist) and if there are no parents, it will continue with the grandparents, and if there are no grandparents, the cousins ​​and uncles of the passed away. In the absence of all of them, the treasury will inherit.

Do all heirs receive the same percentage of estate assets?

The answer is no, not all heirs receive an equal share of the estate assets . For example, in the event of the death of a person who had a spouse and multiple children, each child will have half of what is due to the surviving spouse . However, if there is only one surviving child and spouse , it will be divided into equal halves. Wolfenson Abogados provides the advice required for the correct distribution of inheritance assets.

Heirs or legatees?

The heirs succeed in the entire estate of the deceased , that is, in the set of transmissible rights and obligations or in a share thereof. The heir does not receive certain assets, but the whole or a portion of the inheritance , going to occupy the legal position of the deceased both with respect to the assets and the debts of the deceased . For their part, the legatees succeed only with respect to assets determined through a will and are not responsible for the debts of the deceased (they do not represent the deceased) .

How is the power to succeed in the estate of the deceased or deceased acquired?

The real inheritance right is acquired by succession due to death , that is, by the mere fact of the death of the person . It should be noted that the inheritance does not always mean a benefit for the heir , since it may be burdened more by debts than by property, which is why the heir may accept or repudiate the inheritance after the death of the deceased . Procedures performed at the time of effective possession by Wolfenson's attorneys .

What are the requirements to happen?

The requirements are that the person must be able to happen , must be worthy of happening , and must be a certain and determined person .

What is the order in which the inheritance is distributed? Are your orders necessary ?

There are five inheritance orders , so called because they establish the legal order according to which the heirs are determined . These are as follows:

  • 1st order: Spouse or civil partner and children . If one of the children died, then the inheritance is transferred to the corresponding grandchildren by that child.

  • 2nd order: If there are no descendants , the inheritance can pass to their parents and, in the case of their parents , the property can even pass to the grandparents .

  • 3rd order: If the previous ones are missing, they can inherit the siblings they have from their mother and father. If any of them passed away, you inherit the children of, that is, the nephews .

  • 4th order: In case all of the above are missing, the inheritance passes to the closest collaterals, that is, blood relatives who are alive like uncles, cousins , etc.

  • 5th order: When all of the above are not missing, then the inheritance passes to the Treasury.

Wolfenson Abogados provides legal advice specialized in inheritance and will law.

Links of interest on Inheritance Law in Chile :

1.- Civil Registry - Effective Possession

2.- BCN - Intestate Effective Possession

3.- Internal Tax Service - Effective Possession

Wolfenson Lawyers. Chile Law Firm.

If you need more information and legal advice regarding inheritance or inheritance law, we invite you to contact our lawyers in Santiago. We are located at Avenida Apoquindo 2930 in the commune of Las Condes, Santiago de Chile.