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03.07.2018 01:49 Age: 2 days

Testamentary freedom close to becoming Colombian law


Following approval in the last Senate debate, a bill modifying the Civil Code to allow greater freedom in inheritance now only requires Presidential sanction to enter into Colombian law.

As the Colombian Civil Code currently stands, art. 1226 enforces compulsory testamentary assignments in inheritance, leaving citizens able to bequeath only a quarter of their assets freely.

Compulsory assignations include those to the spouse and "legitimates" - in other words, legitimate, adoptive, and extramarital children.

However, legal and financial experts have been arguing that the legislation is outdated, and that familial and social ties have evolved to the extent that the Code should be modernised and more freedom allowed.

The Bogotá Representative to the Chamber, Rodrigo Lara Restrepo, has drafted the aforementioned bill, supported by the Liberty and Progress Institute (ILP), to grant Colombians the right to freely disposed of the assets accumulated through their lifetimes.

"The only factor that can break the tremendous inequalities of modern societies is merit, that is, the ability of everyone to get ahead thanks to their effort and their work," Restrepo told Ámbito Jurídico. "The obligatory inheritance, the law of equal distribution, is a profound contradiction with that principle, because you are enriching yourself or receiving an inheritance from your ancestors or your relatives without having worked it."

He added that Colombians with non-traditional family models should have the tools they need to distribute their property appropriately in their will.

When the bill receives Presidential sanction, it will allow Colombians to dispose of three quarters of their property freely in their wills.

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Testamentary freedom close to becoming Colombian law