The estate of the deceased in the event of his/her demise ipso iure, i. e. according to the Slovenian inheritance law, passes to the possession of the heir and merges with the heir's previous assets into one totality of his property. With the acquirement of the legacy, the heir also inherits all of the heritable rights and debts of the deceased at the time of his/her death. The heirs are generally liable to repay the debts made by the deceased with their entire assets, as well as with those inherited, but only up to the level of the value of the estate (responsibility pro viribus hereditatis).
The separation of the estate presents a legal institute that restricts the responsibility of the heir for the deceased’s debts in monetary value and as physical assets exclusively on the estate (responsibility cum viribus hereditatis). The purpose of the aforementioned separation is the insurance of the debts, made by the preferential creditors of the deceased in the case of the legatee's over-indebtedness.
In order to attain the separation of the estate, the creditors of the deceased must submit a proposal for the separation three months after the devolution of the inheritance would have taken place and wherein they must prove their claims with the degree of probability. The current legislation does not provide for giving the evidence on the over-indebtedness of the heir.
The court having mandate to rule on the succession decides upon the separation of the estate with its ruling. If the court allows the separation, the estate is disassociated from the personal property of the heir with the effect of ex tunc. The claims of the creditors of the deceased who proposed the separation, are repaid solely out of the assets which comprise the estate. The heir and his creditors are not able to possess the estate or use it to remunerate themselves until the preferential creditors are repaid. The separation of the estate lasts up to the repayment of the preferential creditors.