Monday, 23 Apr 2018

When families tear themselves apart for an inheritance

The vicissitudes surrounding the succession of Johnny Hallyday reveal the fragility of families in the aftermath of death. But this case also reflects the evolution of manners and the modernity of the societal changes that settle permanently in our lives. Yesterday was the nuclear family. Today, she is recomposed. In Switzerland, according to the Federal Statistical Office, only 29% of private households are of the “couple with children” type. And the proportion of births out of wedlock has more than doubled between 2000 and 2016, from 11% to 24%. Yesterday, professional and private life often took place in the same city or the same country. Today, it explodes around the world. Yesterday, we did not live as long as today. And it is not uncommon for sexagenarians to rebuild their lives and for geographical and emotional distances to be established between parents and children. The classic bourgeois family model is falling into disuse. At the moment of death, it is sacred union. The family is blocking. But surprises, good or bad, sometimes appear during the discovery of the will. In Switzerland, the legal framework – detailed in the Civil Code – still suffocates many desires on the part of the person concerned, that is to say the testator. In order to modernize inheritance law, a reform is underway. A first draft was completed in 2017. The revision focuses on a reduction of the legal reserve for the benefit of the spouse and children. The deceased (or deceased) may therefore have a larger share in favor of, for example, a companion, a companion, children that his partner has had another union, or the buyer of his company. “I observe, for example, cases where relations between parents and children are minimized or non-existent” A lawyer specializing in inheritance law in Schellenberg Wittmer, based in Zurich, Geneva and Singapore, Christian Girod is in favor of reducing the level of hereditary reserves: “I agree with this point. I think that we must maintain reserves, but reduce their level. For example, I observe cases where relations between parents and children are minimized or non-existent. But the current Civil Code does not allow to disinherit one of his children (with the exception of a few very limited situations) whereas, in real life, people may wish to do so for reasons that belong to them. The minimum share going to children, inheriting in competition with the surviving spouse, would increase from 37.5% to 25%. ” The reform also provides for the creation of a “maintenance legacy” for the benefit of a life partner or a minor child. “This is to introduce a legal maintenance bequest for a concubine or a concubine who lived with the deceased, says the specialist. Its purpose is to prevent the surviving partner from falling into need. A right to a share of the estate may be allocated to him for his own maintenance if he has made an important contribution to the household, for example in the form of care or financial support. The tax aspect is however not dealt with in this project. “Today, this person must, in the canton of Vaud, pay succession duties amounting to about a quarter of the value of the bequest, against nearly half in Geneva. “It greatly diminishes the appeal of such a legacy.” But cantons or associations consulted believe that the three-month time limit for taking legal action is too short. Before a court decides on the right to obtain this legacy, a lot of information must be collected. If the deceased was married, the liquidation of the matrimonial regime can also be complicated, not to mention the time needed for the mourning and the fact that the heirs are often overwhelmed by the paperwork to collect, especially in the case of bank accounts. A period of six months seems necessary, even twelve in the context of international successions where information must be requested – or even requested – from official foreign authorities. The reform also stumbles on other issues, like the risks of inheritance capture. But the tendency to allow a person to have more freedom to distribute his money is not disputed. “Provided he has all his discretion, everyone is free to spend his money as he sees fit, for example in travel or gifts,” says the lawyer. Some want their children to fend for themselves without tapping into family fortune, others want to pass on the inheritance to the next generation. The widower and his young wife All is hard, often, in the real estate field. A family home is always full of memories and emotions. This is what lawyer Alexia Morel says: “The legacy of a property is problematic when one of the heirs wants to sell the property and not the other.” The first needs money to carry out a project the second is sentimentally attached to the family home, but he does not necessarily have enough money to buy it from the other. “The purchase of the rebate can then be difficult to achieve and thus constrain the sale of the house.” However, a mediator can intervene and propose a solution, like the two sisters facing this problem (see box). When a parent remarries late, which was the case of Johnny Hallyday, tensions can quickly appear. But, observes Christian Girod, “children of a first bed can attack the arrangements made by their parent to benefit their new spouse, whether it is at the level of liquidation of the matrimonial regime or that of the estate if their hereditary reserve is violated by such provisions “. And the lawyer to tell an example. A widowed man had three children. He fell into the clutches of a young woman who managed to convince him to marry her. The relations with the children were distended, the latter suspecting more and more his second wife to be especially interested by the money of the widower. The last years before his death, he offered many benefits to his wife. After his death, the children felt that their hereditary reserve had been damaged. In this case, the value of the estate, approximately 250,000 francs, was not large enough to justify the opening of proceedings against the wife against the foreseeable costs. “There is no external financing that can allow you to fight to try to recover this type of amount!” Smiles Christian Girod. But for bigger sums, the heirs can cross iron in justice. Before you get there, better try to get along. Alexia Morel is convinced of this: “You have to plan for your own estate, especially if you own property or if you have children from more than one bed.” An inheritance pact can also be concluded upstream. “In general, I advise my clients to plan their succession at rest, in full possession of their means, details Me Christian Girod. For example, they can enter into a contract with their family members to overcome the constraints that respect for hereditary reserves represents. For example, a child may need money to start a business. This pact allows him to transmit these funds. In return, he waives his legal reserve. ” “She’s going to fuck up, Laeticia” Something else? Yes. All wills must include a date, a place, be written entirely by hand and signed. It can then be modified at any time, specifying that the last version cancels the previous ones. To avoid that, in front of the notaries, members of the family tear each other apart by brandishing papers sowing even more the confusion. This is the case in the Hallyday estate. Not a day goes by without the fights between the Laeticia clan and the singer’s first children – David and Laura – being spread in the tabloids. Stars are spreading. “She’s going to fuck up, Laeticia,” said Gérard Depardieu. Everyone gets involved, takes sides. “The testament that tears Laura, David and Laeticia was written in all lucidity,” says Claude Lelouch, while Brigitte Bardot shouts: “It disgusts me. I would be Laeticia, I would give back to Laura and David what they deserve to have. “Friday, the French justice – which refuses the right of glance at the elders of the singer on his album – has, on the other hand, ordered the freezing of the goods the singer. A procedure is still under way to decide whether the testamentary legacy of the inheritance estimated at around 40 million francs is legal or illegal. The roots of evil often go back to life The Valais psychologist Alain Valterio (notably author of “Psychotic neurosis” and “Brèves de psy”, published by Éditions Favre) speaks about the current reform and the case of the Hallyday family. Succession law reforms are under way in Switzerland. Does the Civil Code respond to societal changes? The law is rather careful to avoid injustices in succession. But that’s not always enough to avoid conflict. It often happens that one or other of the heirs feels aggrieved without any real reason. Wars of inheritance can not be explained only by the venality of the heirs. They take root during the parents’ lifetime. What mistakes or lack of appreciation could parents have made towards their children? In their lifetime, parents do not always look the same on each of their children. This view varies according to different criteria, whether it is the position in the siblings, whether one is a girl or a boy, but also in the fact that a child responds better than another to their expectations. It is this last point that will sometimes cause problems in the succession. The “most deserving” may have the impression of having to touch more or conversely, the “less deserving” has the impression that he touches less because he has always felt the unloved. We claim recognition under the guise of capital, even when everyone touches the same thing … Without going into the details of the file, what do you say applies to the case of Johnny Hallyday? In the succession of Johnny Hallyday, it seems that his daughter Laura has been the one who has done the least good for his life and therefore created the most trouble for his father. It will all the more feel to have been wronged. Laura’s grudge against her stepmother, who seems to have fulfilled her duties as a wife better than she has fulfilled her daughter’s duties, will be all the greater. The child who has caused the most concern during the lifetime of the parents is often the one who poses the most problems at the time of the inheritance. She would have suffered from a lack of recognition? Do not throw the stone at Laura! “Hyperparentality” as it is prescribed today (especially by the pays of the new paternity) only aggravates the things in inheritance. As the child is now a top priority, he tends not only to forget that he has brothers, but he no longer feels any responsibility to his parents. The latter must show that they are ready to sacrifice themselves for him because, as they say, “he did not ask to come into the world”. What category of the population are you thinking about? I am thinking in particular of all those divorced fathers who pay a pension for their children whom they never see. Johnny did not have a good idea to dedicate a song to the birth of his daughter. Let’s wait until the children have a little proven track before making them glories!
After the time of grief, families often quarrel over financial matters. Is money sometimes an excuse?
Succession does not only mean pitiful but also sometimes resumption of a trade or a business. It used to be said that you had to kill your father to take his place. The ball is not only in the camp of the one who “should let go” and who does not, but in that of the newcomer. The kings of hyperparentality often have the impression that the red carpet should be unfurled. A crown is not a guarantee of competence. It is well known that successors are less successful than the founders. (24 hours) Created: 15.04.2018, 10:32

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