Heirs to property other than the spouse come in the following order:
Lineal descendants by blood;
Brothers and sisters;
Among persons of the first order provided in the preceding Article, the person nearest in degree of relationship comes first as the heir.
Where an heir of the first order provided in Article 1138 has died or lost the right to inheritance before the opening of the succession, his lineal descendants shall inherit his entitled portion in his place.
Where there are several heirs of the same order, they inherit is equal shares as per capita, unless it is otherwise provided by law.
Where the right to inherit has been infringed upon, the injured party or his statutory agent may claim its restitution.
The right to claim as provided in the preceding Paragraph is extinguished if not exercised within two years from the date of knowing such infringement. The same rule applies where ten years have elapsed from the time of the opening of the succession.
A person who had been financially provided by the deceased before the latter's death shall be allocated a certain portion of the deceased's property by the family council, taking into consideration the extent of maintenance he used to receive and other relationships with the deceased.
Expenses relating to the management and partition of the deceased's property and the execution of the will are to be paid out of that property except those that have been incurred by the faults of the heir.
Where there are several heirs, the whole of the deceased's property is, before its partition, owned in common by the heirs.
In regard to the property in common provided by the preceding Article, the heirs may elect a person among themselves for its management.
Any creditor of the deceased who has failed to present one’s claims within the specified period of time provided in Article 1157, and were also unknown to the heir, may exercise his right only upon such part of the deceased's property as remains after all other legal repayments.
After the partition of the inheritance each heir bears, in proportion to the share he has acquired, the same obligation of warranty as that of a seller in regard to the property that the other heirs have acquired by the partition.
After the partition of the inheritance each heir is, in regard to claims acquired by other heirs consequent upon the partition, bound to warrant, in proportion to the share he has acquired, the solvency of the debtor at the time of the partition.
Where a claim provided by the preceding Paragraph is subject to a condition precedent or where the time of performance of the obligation is not yet due, each heir is bound to warrant the solvency of the debtor at the time when the obligation is to be performed.
Where one of the heirs bound for warranty under the two preceding Articles is insolvent and cannot make reimbursement for the amount he undertakes, the part which he is unable to reimburse is borne by the heir, who has the claim for reimbursement, and the other heirs respectively in proportion to the shares they have acquired. But if the inability to reimburse was caused by the fault of the claimant, he is barred to demand the others to divide up such burden.
If after the partition of the deceased's property, the creditors have consented to the assignment of the deceased’s repayment liability to one heir or to its division among the heirs, each heir is thus released from their joint liability.
The heirs are released from their joint liability at the expiration of five years from the time of the partition of the inheritance, or, if the date of performance comes after the partition, from that date.
If one of the heirs is in debts with the deceased, the amount of the debt shall at the time of partition of the inheritance, be deducted from that heir's entitled portion.
If one of the heirs has, before the opening of succession, received gifts in property from the deceased for the purpose of concluding a marriage, separation from home, or carrying on trade, the value of such gifts shall be added to the inheritable property at the opening of the succession, thus constituting together the property of the succession. But this does not apply where the deceased has made a contrary declaration of intention at the time of giving.
The value of such gifts as provided in the preceding Paragraph shall, at the time of the partition of inheritance, be deducted from the entitled portion of the heir in question.
The value of a gift in question shall be calculated as when it was given.
The court may, where it is not clear whether there is an heir upon the opening of the succession, and prior to the appointment of a manager for the property of the deceased, adopt necessary measures to preserve the property upon application of an interested party or a public prosecutor.
The functions of a manager for the property of the deceased are as follows:
To draw up an inventory of the property of the deceased;
To take such measures as are necessary for the preservation of the property of the deceased;
To request the court to give public notice in accordance with the procedure of public summons, fixing a period of time not less than one year and ordering the creditors and legatees of the deceased to make within such period a statement of their claims or a declaration as to whether they are willing to accept the legacies. Where the creditors and legatees of the deceased are already known to the manager, they shall be notified respectively;
To settle claims, and to deliver legacies;
To hand over the property in cases where the succession has been acknowledged by an heir or the property accrues to the Treasury.
The manager shall draw up the inventory of the deceased’s property provided in Subparagraph 1 of the preceding Paragraph within three months after coming into office. The settlement of claims under Subparagraph 4 shall precede the delivery of legacies. Where it is necessary for settling claims or delivering legacies, the manager may sell the deceased's property with the consent of the family council.
The manager shall, at the request of the family council, the creditors or legatees of the deceased, make a report on or given an explanation for the deceased's property.
Creditors or legatees of the deceased who fail to make such statement or declaration as provided in Subparagraph 3 of Paragraph 1 of Article 1179 may exercise their right only upon such part of the deceased's property as remains over.
Where an heir acknowledges the succession within the period provided in Article 1178, the manager, in regard to acts done by him in the course of performing his functions before such acknowledgement by the heir, is legally deemed to have been the agent of the heir.
Where no heir acknowledges the succession, on the expiration of the period provided in Article 1178, such part of the property of the deceased as remains over after the settlement of claims and the delivery of legacies accrues to the Treasury.
A will shall be made in one of the following forms:
A holograph will;
A notarized will;
A sealed will;
A "dictated" will;
An oral will.
For making a holograph will, the testator must himself write the whole text, stating the year, month and day and sign it. In case of any insertion, cancellation, erasure or alteration, he must make and sign an additional note stating the place in the text where words have been inserted, erased or altered, and the number of such words.
For making a notarized will, the testator must designate at least two witnesses and make an oral statement of his testamentary wishes before a public notary. The statement must be written down, read over and explained by the public notary, and, after the testator has given approval, signed by him together with the witnesses and the testator, stating the year, month and day. In case the testator is not able to sign his name, the public notary must state the circumstances and make him affix his fingerprint in lieu of signature.
The functions of a public notary as provided in the preceding Paragraph may be exercised by a court clerk in a place where there is no public notary, or by a Chinese consul when a overseas Chinese makes a will in the place where such consul resides.
For making a sealed will, the testator must, after signing it, have it securely enveloped, affix a signature across the seam of the envelope, designate at least two witnesses, and declare before a public notary that it is his will, and, if not written by himself, also declare the name and domicile of its draftsman; the public notary must state on the envelope the date on which the will is brought and the declaration of the testator, and sign together with the testator and the witnesses.
The provisions of Paragraph 2 of the preceding Article apply mutatis mutandis to the situation provided in the preceding Paragraph.
A sealed will which may be defective as regards the formalities provided in the preceding Article but is otherwise in compliance with the formalities of a holograph will provided in Article 1190 has the effect of a holograph will.
For making a "dictated" will, the testator must designate at least three witnesses, make an oral statement of his testamentary wishes, have it written down. read over and explained by one of the witnesses; after the testator has given his approval, the statement bearing the year, month and day, and the name of the draftsman, must be signed by all the witnesses and the testator together. Where the testator is not able to sign his name, he must affix his fingerprint in lieu of signature.
An oral will must be brought up by one of the witnesses or an interested person, within three months after the death of the testator, for decision by the family council as to its genuineness. Where objections arise regarding the decision of the family council, application may be made to the court for a judgment.
A will takes effect from the time of the death of the testator.
When a legacy provided in a will is subject to a condition precedent, it takes effect from the time when such condition is fulfilled.
If the legatee dies before the will becomes effective, the legacy does not take effect.
If certain property is made the subject of legacy by the testator and, at the time of the opening of the succession, part of the property does not belong to the property of the deceased, such part of the legacy is invalid. If the whole property does not belong to the property of the deceased, the whole legacy is invalid. If however, a special intention is expressed in the will, such intention is to be followed.
Where the testator has acquired a right against a third person on account of the lose, destruction, damage or artificial alteration of the substance which forms the subject of the legacy, or the loss of its possession, such right is presumed to have been made the subject of the legacy. The same applies where, because the substance that forms the subject of a legacy is joined to or mixed with another thing, the testator has acquired a right over the composite or mixed thing.
Where the right to use and to collect fruits from the property of the deceased is made the subject of a legacy, and the time limit for the restitution [of such property] is not provided in the will nor can it be determined by the nature of the legacy, the time limit is the lifetime of the legatee.
Where the legacy is burdened with an obligation, the legatee is responsible for the performance only to the extent of the benefit received from the legacy.
A legatee may waive a legacy after the death of the testator.
The waiver of a legacy takes effect retroactively as from the time of the death of the testator.
An heir or other interested person may fix a reasonable period of time and call upon the legatee to declare within such period whether or not he accepts the legacy. If no declaration has yet taken place upon the expiration of the period, the legacy is legally deemed to have been accepted.
Where a legacy is invalid or waived, the property of the legacy remains part of the property of the deceased.
Where a will has not designated an executor or entrusted another person to make the designation, the family council may elect an executor. Where cannot be elected by the family council has failed to elect an executor, an interested party may apply to the court to designate one.
After an executor comes into office, if it is necessary to draw up an inventory of the property related to the will, he must without delay draw up such an inventory and deliver it to the heir.
An executor is under an obligation to manage the property of the deceased and to do all acts necessary for the execution of his duty.
The executor is deemed to be the agent of the heir in regard to acts done by him in the course of performing his duty as provided in the preceding Paragraph.
While an executor is executing his duty, an heir may not dispose of any property related to the will, or obstruct the executor in the execution of his duty.
Where there are several executors, their duties are performed in accordance with a majority vote; but if a special intention is declared in the will, such intention has to be followed.
If an executor neglects his duty, or if there be other grave causes, an interested person may apply to the family council for the election of another executor. If the executor in question was designated by a court, an application may be made to the court for the designation of another.
The compulsory portion of an heir is determined as follows:
For a lineal descendant by blood, the compulsory portion is one half of his entitled portion;
For a parent, the compulsory portion is one half of his entitled portion;
For a spouse, the compulsory portion is one half of his entitled portion;
For a brother or a sister, the compulsory portion is one-third of his or her entitled portion;
For a grandparent, the compulsory portion is one-third of his entitled portion.
A compulsory portion is determined by deducting the amount of debts from the property of the succession as reckoned according to Article 1173.
A person entitled to a compulsory portion may have the amount of the deficit deducted from the property of a legacy, if the amount of his compulsory portion becomes deficient on account of the legacy made by the testator. If there are several legatees, deductions must be made in proportion to the value of the legacies they severally receive.