These proceedings aim to determine who inherits the legacy of the deceased person and in which proportions.
The circle of heirs may be determined via court proceedings or in a notarial office, where a notary will issue a deed certifying succession. A claim for inheritance initiates the proceedings leading to the declaration of inheritance.
The circle of heirs is laid down in the law (the inheritance section of the Civil Code) and includes the closest relatives of the deceased who inherit parts defined in the law. If the deceased left a will, the circle of heirs may include non-relatives of the deceased or the relatives of the deceased may inherit the estate in proportions other that those defined in the law.
Although the proceedings for a declaration of inheritance are non-litigious and, by definition, are not contentious, the claimants i.e. those who aspire to be recognised as heirs by the court, often remain in an actual dispute with other claimants.
One example of such a dispute would be if one claimant challenges the validity of the will invoked by another claimant, who asserts advantageous consequences from such a will. What sometimes happens is that only one person is appointed to inherit the entire estate under a will deposited at court whereas the remaining statutory heirs are actually excluded from inheritance, although they had no previous knowledge that the deceased had left a will.
The first step to organise the legal situation related to the assets of a deceased person is to file a claim for a declaration of inheritance. Such a claim may be filed at any time because it never becomes time-barred.
A claim for a declaration of inheritance can be prepared by an attorney from our law firm.
An attorney from our law firm will determine the competent court where the claim for a declaration of inheritance should be submitted. Once submitted, the claim initiates court proceedings related to the declaration of inheritance. Once the court has issued a decision regarding a declaration of inheritance, the acquisition of inheritance is confirmed and this terminates the proceedings initiated by the claim. A relevant amendment to the land and mortgage register or to the National Court Register is the last step in the procedure.
Our law firm will also assist clients in confirming their entitlement to an inheritance within a shorter time, by carrying out the procedure of notarial certificate of inheritance. We work with verified notarial offices to handle such cases.
We will also provide legal assistance in determining the assets comprised by the estate, for example, identifying the bank accounts of the deceased and other property-related rights left by the deceased.