Intestate succession in Colombia: everything you need to know

portada sucesion intestada en colombia

Intestate succession in Colombia

Succession is a process that begins with the death of a person, for the distribution of his or her property, liabilities and assets among his or her worthy heirs.

The deceased may have left a will, that is to say that, by a more or less solemn act, he or she has established the manner in which part or all of his or her assets are to be distributed.

If you did not make a will during your lifetime or you only distributed a part of your estate, we are talking about an intestate succession process in Colombia for all or the remaining part of your estate.

However, intestate succession in Colombia may be initiated by the initiative of any of the heirs, either through a notary public or through a notary public.
through a notary
or through the courts, taking into account that, since no will has been left, the law establishes who, in what order and in what percentages each of the relatives of the deceased will inherit. Thus, the Colombian Civil Code provides, in its articles 1045 to 1051:

intestate succession in colombia

Intestate succession orders for an intestate succession in Colombia

Taking into account that this order is strict and each one is exclusive of the others, that is to say, if there are heirs of the first order, the heirs of the second order will not inherit and so on.

1°. Descendants: If there are children to succeed, whether they are the product of marriage or de facto marital union or not, and whether natural or adopted, they will be entitled to the estate divided equally, regardless of their origin, age or sex. In the absence of children, grandchildren will follow in right.

2°. Parents and spouse: In the absence of offspring, the inheritance will correspond to the parents and the spouse per head (i.e., if all three survive, they would each be entitled to 33.33%). If there is no spouse or permanent partner, it will be shared only between the parents.

Adoptive parents shall have the same right, excluding that of blood parents, unless the adopting parent is the spouse of the blood parent.

3°. Siblings and spouse: If the parents do not survive him/her, but there are siblings and spouse, the inheritance will be divided equally (50%) between them and him/her or only between them (equally among the number of siblings) if there is no spouse or permanent partner.

If there are no siblings, 100% of the inheritance will correspond to the spouse or permanent partner.

If there are both maternal siblings (corresponding to the deceased in both father and mother) and simply maternal or simply paternal siblings, the former will receive twice as much as the latter.

4°. The nephews: In the absence of descendants, ascendants, siblings and spouse or permanent partner, the children of the siblings, i.e. the nephews and nieces, will inherit in equal shares.

5°. ICBF: In the absence of all of the above, the Colombian Institute of Family Welfare will receive the assets.

The marital portion

Regardless of whether he/she is also included in the 2nd and 3rd order, the spouse or permanent partner with whom the deceased has not entered into an agreement will be entitled to his/her marital portion, which corresponds to 50% of the property, liabilities and assets contained in his/her marital assets, which includes all salaries and profits, fruits, pensions, interests and profits from his/her own and social property, all movable property and the property acquired for valuable consideration by the deceased or by his/her spouse.

The marital portion should be divided from the rest of the estate as a first step before initiating the succession liquidation (distribution) process.