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Brazil: Civil Code Amended to Exclude Heirs Who Kill for Inheritance

(Nov. 21, 2017) On November 9, 2017, the Brazilian Federal Senate approved the bill of law No. 9/2017, which amends the Civil Code to allow the Public Prosecutor’s Office to request the withdrawal of inheritance rights from heirs who have been the perpetrators of intentional homicide or attempted murder against the person who left the assets. (Projeto de Lei da Câmara [Chamber Bill] No. 9, de 2017; Código Civil [Civil Code], Lei No. 10.406, de 10 de Janeiro de 2002, PLANALTO.) The bill now must be signed by President Michel Temer to enter into force.

Article 1,814(I) of the Civil Code already determines that heirs or legatees who are the perpetrators of or co-conspirators or participants in an intentional homicide or attempted murder of a person who has made provision to leave them the assets, and the legator’s  spouse, companion, or ascendant or descendant relative, are excluded from the succession. However, the role of the Public Prosecutor’s Office had not been clear.  The amendment clarifies the Office’s role.