Is a child responsible for his or her parents' debts?

Verified 28 May 2021 - Directorate of Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister), Ministry of Justice

The parent is alive

A child does not have to pay the debts of his parents, whatever their nature: outstanding credits, rent debts, damages... 

Parents are committed to themselves and, as a result, do not commit their children.

In order for children to be liable for the debts incurred by their parents, they must have committed themselves, for example by guaranteeing their debts in a bond contract. This implies a voluntary (and written) commitment on their part.

Deceased parent (estate)

A child who wishes not to pay the debts of the deceased parent may to refuse inheritance (thelegacy).

On the other hand, he is liable for the debts of his deceased parent if he accepts his estate.

The child may also accept the succession up to net assets. Thus, his personal property is protected in case the debts are greater than the property left by the deceased. An inventory of the deceased's property is then mandatory. It must be lodged at the court registry within 2 months of the declaration of acceptance of the succession.

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