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Inheritance: What is the rule of representation?

Verified 24 January 2022 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

The representation rule allows certain family members of a deceased person to inherit in their place:

  • Children of the deceased and their own descendants
  • Brothers and sisters of the deceased and their own descendants

They say they come by representation.

Example :

Jean has 2 children: Michel and Sophie. Sophie has 2 children: Caroline and Bruno. Sophie dies before her father Jean. For the succession of Jean, Caroline and Bruno will represent their mother Sophie. They inherit from him, that is to say half of the estate, the other half coming to their uncle Michel.


the representation mechanism also applies when an heir renounces the estate and in case of inheritance indignity.

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