Do I have to compensate other heirs if I withdraw money from a deceased relative’s account?

Case: Mrs. FT, GW and JM are three sisters. Before his death, they were instructed by their father to make bank withdrawals so that he could pay his own expenses from the withdrawn amounts. After his death, their brother claimed that they embezzled the cash amounts. Do they have to account for the administration of this mandate and justify that all the sums of money collected corresponded to their father’s needs?

Lawyer’s response: No, because in this case the mandate only concerned the collection of money. It was not proven that the mandate went further, the Court of Appeal even stated that there was evidence that the father managed the amounts once withdrawn, “that he gradually released to his daughters the amounts withdrawn in cash from their account, the use of their power of attorney is in fact limited only for cash withdrawal.


Inheritance taxes: calculation, scope, reduction…

The Court of Cassation confirmed this decision (1st Civil Law Chamber, Judgment No. 21-18.000 of March 15, 2023) and recalled that it is up to the defendants’ brother to prove that they kept the amounts in cash, that these constituted donations and that they so they had to pay as part of the inheritance. If the mandate in question only concerns the collection of money, the objectors must prove the misuse. Otherwise, the mandate is valid and the amounts deducted cannot be returned to the property.


Link: parents, brothers, sisters… When will it be their turn?

Barthélémy Lemiale, associate lawyer at court, partner of Valmy Avocats.

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