Indignity to inherit in Colombia

portada indignacion para hredar en colombia

Indignity to inherit in Colombia.

Whether as heirs or legatees, they will be unworthy to succeed the deceased:

  1. His murderer or whoever intervened in his murder by act or advice.
  2. Who did not help him when he could have saved him.
  3. The one who seriously attempted (with an executed sentence as proof) against his life, honor or property, those of his spouse or those of his ascendants or descendants.
  4. The consanguine up to the sixth degree who, being able to help him in his state of insanity or destitution, did not do so.
  5. Who fraudulently imposed any testamentary disposition on him, prevented him from making a will or concealed his will
  6. The one who, when he should have done so, did not provide him with food or personal care, unless the deceased had forgiven him
  7. The person who committed domestic violence (with an enforceable sentence) against him/her.
  8. Who, when he should have done so, did not provide food or personal care while he was in a disabled situation
  9. The person who did not report the homicide within one month of knowledge of it, being of legal age and provided that the investigation had not been initiated beforehand, unless he shares a blood relationship up to the fourth degree or a relationship of affinity or kinship up to the second degree with the person who has intervened in the homicide by act or advice.
  10. Whoever, having been appointed by the testator as guardian or curator, rejects the position without legitimate cause and whoever, having been appointed executor, rejects it without proving serious inconvenience. This is unless they subsequently enter to serve in office or they are forced assignees (those for whom the law establishes a portion of the estate that is not available to the testator).
  11. The ascendant or descendant who, being able to do so, did not request the appointment of a guardian or conservator for the deceased impuberal or deaf-mute unable to understand within a whole year, and the siblings who, being able to do the same, did not do so after that year, unless the deceased was already living under guardianship or conservatorship.. If only one of the ascendants, descendants or siblings complies with this obligation, it would cease to exist for the others.
  12. Whoever has promised to pass on his property or part of it to an incapable person, except in fear of reverential fear

Action of unworthiness to inherit in Colombia

Indignity shall only have effects by judicial declaration resulting from a lawsuit initiated at the request of any interested party, by means of the action of indignity.

This action prescribes after 10 years of possession of the inheritance or legacy.

Effects of unworthiness to inherit in Colombia

  • Once the unworthiness has been declared, the unworthy will be obliged to return the inheritance or legacy, with its accessions and fruits.
  • If it was in the hands of a third party in good faith (who was unaware of the fact generating the indignity), this third party will not be obliged to restitution.
  • Indignity does not deprive the heir or legatee of his right to the alimony indicated by law, unless it is generated in one of the causes contained in article 1025 (numerals 1 to 8 in this list).
  • The unworthiness is transmitted to the heirs or legatees of the unworthy, affecting them for the rest of the 10 years until the prescription of the action.


  • If the testamentary disposition that makes the unworthy person inherit is subsequent to the fact generating the unworthiness, even if it is said that the testator was unaware of the fact, there will be no place to allege the unworthiness, since it is understood that the testator tacitly pardoned the unworthy person.
  • One’s own unworthiness may not be invoked to excuse oneself from inheritance or bequest of debts.