Table of Contents
CHAPTER III - OF THE PORTION DISPOSABLE, AND OF ITS REDUCTION IN CASE OF EXCESS
SECTION I - OF THE DISPOSABLE PORTION AND THE LEGITIME
Art. 19. Donations either between inter vivos or mortis causa, cannot exceed the fifth part of the property of the disposer, if he leaves at his decease, one or more legitimate children or descendants born or to be born.
Art. 20. Donations either inter vivos or mortis causa, cannot exceed one third part of the property, if the disposer having no children, leave one or several legitimate ascendants in the direct line.
Art. 21. Where there are no legitimate ascendants or descendants, donations inter vivos or mortis causa, may be made to the whole amount of the property of the disposer.
Art. 22. That portion of the property of which the law forbids the disposal to the prejudice of the descendants or ascendants, is called the legitime.
That portion is four fifths of the property in favor of the legitimate children or descendants coming to the succession of their ascendants; and of two thirds of the property in favor of legitimate ascendants coming to the succession of their descendants.
In these two cases the legitimate descendants and ascendants are called forced heirs, because it does not depend upon the disposer to deprive them of the portion reserved to them by law, in the succession, without a just cause for disinheriting them.
Art. 23. If the disposition made by donation inter vivos or mortis causa, be of an usufruct, or of an annuity, the value of which exceeds the portion disposable, the heirs in favor of whom the law makes a reservation, have the option either to execute the disposition, or to relinquish their right of ownership to the disposable portion.
Art. 24. The value in full ownership of property alienated either on the charge of an annuity or the capital being sunk, or with the reservation of an usufruct, to one of those who succeed to the inheritance in the direct descending line, shall be imputed on the disposable portion, and the surplus if any there be, shall be brought in the succession, but this imputation, and this collation cannot be demanded by any of the others succeeding to the inheritance in the direct descending line, who have consented to those alienations.
Art. 25. The disposable quantum may be given in whole or in part, by an act inter vivos or mortis causa, to one or more of the disposer's children, or successible descendants to the prejudice of his other children or successible descendants, without its being liable to be brought in the succession by the donee or legatee, provided the disposition be made expressly under the title of advantage or extra part.
The declaration setting forth that the donation or legacy is under the title of advantage or extra part, may be made either by the act containing the disposition, or posteriorly by an instrument executed before a notary public in presence of two witnesses.
SECTION II - OF THE REDUCTION OF DISPOSITIONS INTER VIVOS OR MORTIS CAUSA; OF THE MANNER IN WHICH IT IS MADE AND OF ITS EFFECTS
Art. 26. Any disposition, whether inter vivos or mortis causa, exceeding the quantum of which a person may legally dispose, to the prejudice of the forced heirs, is not null, but only reducible to that quantum.
Art. 27. A donation inter vivos exceeding the quantum disposable retains all its effect during the life of the donor.
Art. 28. On the death of the donor or testator, the reduction of the donation whether inter vivos or mortis causa, can be sued for only by those in whose favor the law reserves the legitime or legal portion, or by their heirs or assigns: neither the donees, legatees nor creditors of the deceased can require that reduction nor avail themselves of it.
Art. 29. To determine the reduction of which the donations either inter vivos or mortis causa may be susceptible, an aggregate is formed of all the property belonging to the donor or testator at the time of his decease; to that is ficticiously added the property disposed of by donation inter vivos in the state in which it was at the period of the donation, and its value at the time of the donor's decease. On that property is calculated, after the deduction of the debts, what is the quantum he might have disposed of, regard being had to the quantity of the heirs he has left, whether ascendants or descendants.
Art. 30. Donation inter vivos can never be reduced until the value of all the property comprised in donations on account of death, be exhausted; and when there is occasion for that reduction, it shall be made by beginning with the last donation, and thus successively ascending from the last to the oldest.
Art. 31. If the donation inter vivos liable to be reduced, was made to one of those who succeed to any part of the estate, the latter is authorised to retain of the property given, the value of the portion that would belong to him as heir, in the property not disposable, if it be of the same nature.
Art. 32. When the value of donations inter vivos exceeds or equals the quantum disposable, all dispositions mortis causa are without effect.
Art. 33. When the dispositions mortis causa exceeds either the disposable quantum, or the portion of that quantum, that remains after the deduction of the value of the donations inter vivos, the reduction shall be made at one marc in the livre (five per cent.) without any distinction between universal dispositions and particular ones.
Art. 34. Nevertheless in case the testator has expressly declared that he intended that any particular legacy should be paid preferably to the others, that preference shall take place and the legacy that is the object of it, shall not be reduced, if the value of the others does not fall short of the legal reservation.
Art. 35. The donee restores the proceeds of what exceeds the disposable portion, only from the day of the donor's decease, if the demand of the reduction was made within the year; otherwise from the day of the demand.
Art. 36. Immoveable property that is brought in the succession, through the effect of reduction, is brought in it without any charge of debts or mortgages created by the donee.
Art. 37. The action of reduction or reclaim may be brought by the heirs against third persons holding said immoveable property which has been alienated by the donee, in the same manner and order that it may be bro't against the donee himself, but after the execution of the property of said donee.
Art. 38. If the donee has successively sold several objects of real estate liable to an action of reclaim, that action must be brought against third persons holding the property, according to the order of their purchases, beginning from the first, and ascending in succession from the last to the oldest.
CHAPTER IV - OF DISPOSITIONS REPROBATED BY THE LAW IN DONATIONS INTER VIVOS AND MORTIS CAUSA
Art. 39. In all dispositions inter vivos and mortis causa the impossible conditions, those which are contrary to the laws, or to morals, are reputed not written.
Art. 40. Substitution and fidei commissa are and remain prohibited.
Every disposition by which the donee, the heir or legatee, is charged to the preserve for or to return a thing to a third person, is null, even with regard to the donee, the heir instituted or the legatee.
By means of what is contained in this article, there will be no longer occasion for the trebillianick portion in use by the civil law, that is for the portion of the property of the testator which the instituted heir had a right to retain when he was charged with a fidei commissa or fiduciary bequest.
Art. 41. The disposition by which a stranger is called to take the gift, the inheritance, or the legacy in case the donee, the heir, or the legatee does not take it, shall not be considered a substitution, and shall be valid.
Art. 42. The same shall be observed as to the disposition inter vivos or mortis causa, by which the usufruct is given to one and the naked property to the other.
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