The Korea Herald


Assembly passed bill to protect minors from parents’ debt

By Lee Jung-youn

Published : Nov. 25, 2022 - 15:12

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A revised bill to prevent minors from taking the burden of their deceased parents’ debts was passed at a plenary session of the National Assembly on Thursday.

If parents die, the inheritor has to choose between three choices – “absolute acceptance,” to inherit both debt and property, “qualified acceptance,” to pay off the parent's debt only within the scope of the inherited property, or “renunciation,” which is to give up both the inherited property and debt.

If the parents have more debt than property, it is better for the child to choose qualified acceptance or renunciation. However, if minors who are not familiar with the law fail to clarify their choice within a set period of time, they have no choice but to take on the burden of debt.

The amendment allows underage heirs to choose qualified acceptance within three months when they find out that they have inherited more debt than property after they become adults.

The revised law applies to the cases in which inheritance begins after the enforcement, but even if the inheritance was initiated before the enforcement of the law, qualified acceptance will be allowed if the person was a minor at the time of inheritance or was not aware of the fact that there was more debt than property inherited.

"The revision will help young people who start their new economic activities ease the burden of debt inheritance. We will continue to do our best to protect the socially disadvantaged and improve laws for future prosperity," said the Ministry of Justice.