The payment of inheritance tax is sometimes so high that the heir is obliged to renounce his inheritance. To avoid this, he can enjoy a donation, postpone payment or ask to pay in several times.

Succession is a delicate subject, especially when the heir does not have the means to pay estate taxes.

A death creates a large number of administrative responsibilities for rightholders. The most disturbing is undoubtedly the succession, source all too often of conflicts and frustrations. If the deceased leaves behind many debts, their payment, with inheritance tax, can be problematic.

How to pay inheritance taxes to keep the estate of the deceased?

Inheritance taxes must in principle be paid within 6 months of the death at the time of filing the declaration of succession. It is possible, depending on the inherited property, to defer the payment of death duties, or to pay them in several installments.

Consult the simulator posted by the Public Service.

consult the simulator posted by the Public Service.

The debts of the deceased at the time of his death are also part of the “legacy”. Estate taxes are calculated on assets, such as money in the bank, apartments owned by the deceased, net of liabilities (debts of the deceased).

The rights holders, in accepting the inheritance, must pay the debts of the deceased. Concretely, if the deceased’s bank money is not enough to pay his debts, it is up to the heirs to pay the rest, if they agree to inherit. The precise calculation of deductible debts is important, so as not to pay excess inheritance tax. Funeral expenses are deductible, up to 1500 euros.

The heirs benefit from an abatement, following their family relationship with the deceased. Donations made by the deceased to the heirs are taken into account until 15 years before the death. In March 2018, an heir in a direct line (a son, a daughter) had a reduction of 100,000 euros on his share.

Thanks to the allowance, if for example, the value of the property inherited by the child is 500 000 euros, the state will only count 400 000 euros for calculating the inheritance tax payable: 500 000 euros of the value, less the 100,000 euros of abatement correspond to 400,000 euros. If the inherited property is worth only 100,000 euros for each heir, there is no inheritance tax to pay. 

Type of abatement Amount of the abatement
Succession and donation between parents and children 100,000 €
Donation between grandparent and grandchild € 31,865
Donation between grandparent and great-grandchild $ 5,310
Additional allowance
for donations of money
(ascending donor under 80)
€ 31,865

In the inheritance tax scale, we can see that it is progressive: the more you inherit, the higher the tax rate.

Taxable amount, after deduction Rate
Not exceeding € 8,072 5%
Between 8,072 € and 12,109 € 10%
Between € 12,109 and € 15,932 15%
Between 15,932 € and 552,324 € 20%
Between 552 325 € and 902 838 € 30%
Between € 902,839 and € 1,805,677 40%
More than € 1,805,677 45%

Calculation of the market value of real estate

Calculation of the market value of real estate

In determining the value of real estate when determining inheritance tax, it is its value in the market that is taken into account. The jurisprudence is clear: “the price that could be obtained by the game of the supply and the demand in a real market considering the state in which the building is located before the mutation”.

When setting the value of the property, it is better not to cheat, a recovery is fraught with consequences! The notary is an invaluable help at this time, it can refer to the average price of equivalent property, as published by the notaries’ chambers.

How to pay taxes in several times? Taxes and credit

  • Pay a ticket in several installments
  • How to finance a redemption

MarKet’s review


Paying death duties can be a real headache, but not impossible.

In the end, a legacy never penalizes the heir, at least financially. If the debts of the deceased are greater than the inherited property, it is possible to refuse the inheritance. If the assets are larger than the debts, but the inheritance taxes are too high, it is possible to sell the inherited assets.

The state knows how to be accommodating with the possibility of paying in several times, at a reduced rate of interest. Thus, if in the end, you can pay inheritance tax, you end up with an important heritage asset. Finally, the only injured person is the feeling, the emotional value that the house of the parents could have, and that can not be kept for lack of means.

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