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Thegonnec, Judge
Category: European Law
Satisfied Customers: 1411
Experience:  Judge with Paris Industrial Tribunal (Conseil de Prud'hommes de Paris)
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This pertains to Belgium law - my deceased brother passed in

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This pertains to Belgium law - my deceased brother passed in San Francico, his wife predeceased him, No Will, No surviving children. My deceased brother and his deceased wife own an apartment in Belgium. My deceased brother failed to pay monies owed on the Belgium apartment (about $5,000). Now the family of the deaceased spouse has inherited the apartment and claim that as surviving brothers, we are responsible for the debt prior to my brother's death. (my brother was in San Francisco with terminal cancer and could not take care of his affairs, and had full power of attorney over his financial affairs. Now, the deceased's wife's family have hired an attorney and claim we are responsible for the debt, even though we did not inherit the apartment. Make sense?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: European Law
Expert:  Thegonnec replied 2 years ago.
No. It does not make sense. If they accepted to inherit the apartment, they inherited the debt with it. Unless there is some information missing...
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

This is an email from attorneys in Brussels regarding my decased brother and his predeceased wife.


Dear Sirs,


M. Réf : MK / 13212

I write to you directly in quality of Mr Amos and Mrs Noah and Michele Süsskind’s lawyer, as far as you have confirmed to me that you don’t have a lawyer anymore (Me Philippe Markiewicz whom I called indicates me that he personally knows the Süsskind family, so that he can, if necessary, intervene as conciliator, but could not assure your defense against my clients).

Your notary, Me Matthieu Derynck wrote to me that he had confirmed to you that the apparment of Forest in which Mrs Monique Süsskind and your brother lived is Mrs Monique Süsskind’s sole property. Therefore, you don’t have any rights on this property.

However, as written to your previous lawyer, Me Menschaert, on February 5th, 2013, despite many requests, you still repossessed the furniture which are still in the apartment (either your brother’s personal belongings or Mrs Süsskind and your brother’s in common furniture that your brother has inherited after his wife’s death).

It is obvious that you clearly gave up making an inventory of those belongings.

My clients wish to repossess the apartment, which is impossible as long as you leave your inherited furniture.

Would you, as soon as possible and in any case for the end of this week, either confirm to me that you refute the ownership of the above-mentioned furniture or make arrangements to pick them up by June 8th last deadline ?

I have to bring your attention to the fact that as long as you don’t release the apartment, my client could demand a compensation of occupation from you since your brother’s death on November 18th, 2012.

On basis of a rental value estimated at €1.250, my clients could thus demand you an amount of €7.916,70 (until May 29th, 2013) increased by €41,67 per day of delay to release the place.

I have to insist so that you take a stand extremely quickly regarding this matter.

On the other hand, you will find one more time in appendix a copy of the total amount of the common charges stopped on September 20th, 2012, before the death of your brother.

These charges which constituted your brother and his wife’s common debt for the previous period of Mrs Süsskind’s death then your brother’s debt as far as he had the usufruct of the building until his death, thus falls to you completely.

It is about a main amount of €3.626,49.

These accommodation charges have to be paid directly to the account of the co-ownership nr BE15 3101 3574 5930. Afterwards, I would appreciate that you send me the proof of payment.

More over, my clients would like to know about the situation of the apartment in Israel as well as bank accounts and other liquid assets for which the Israeli law could apply : as a matter of fact, if I am not mistaken, according to the Isaeli law, my clients could claim a third part of the succession of the Israel real property and the movables, in this included the accounts and other “immaterial movables”.

I thank you for indicating to me if you have hired a possible solicitor in Israel to take care of the liquidation of your sister-in-law’s succession and if necessary to communicate me the copy of one or several declarations of succession which have eventually been written, ideally translated in English.

As Me Markiewicz is prepared to serve as intermediary with the aim of a negotiated solution that my clients would privilege, as you would, I suppose, I will send him a copy of this letter.

Without prejudice.

Expert:  Thegonnec replied 2 years ago.

This helps much. It reads that your brother never owned the apartment, which was his deceased wife's sole property. He just gained usufruct of the apartment when his wife died, which means he had the right to remain in the premises until he died. During this period, it was his personal responsibility to pay all charges linked to this apartment.
It appears you are his heirs. If you accept any part of his estate (furnishings, cash in the bank, personal items, real estate in Belgium or abroad,... really anything), you also bear full responsibility for any debt he might have had. And the charges linked to his use of the apartment indeed belong to this category, I am sorry to confirm.


Customer: replied 2 years ago.

One more question My deceased brother moved $300,000 from a Swiss account to a Bank of America account in California and named my other living brother (heir) as bebeficiary with POD (payment om death) can the family of the predeased wife claim any of that money?

Expert:  Thegonnec replied 2 years ago.
It will depend on when your deceased brother came into possession of this money. If it was his before he married his predeceased wife or if he earned it after she died or else if he inherited personally from someone who had no link to his predeceased wife, they normally can have no claim on it. If he earned this money while married, or if this money came from investment made with his predeceased wife, they can claim half of it.
Thegonnec, Judge
Category: European Law
Satisfied Customers: 1411
Experience: Judge with Paris Industrial Tribunal (Conseil de Prud'hommes de Paris)
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