We have compiled a list of key issues that come from our clients during the acceptance of the inheritance. Each issue requires additional study, taking into account the specifics of the situation of the heir, but there are general rules of acceptance of the inheritance, established by law.
Where to apply for inheritance?
First of all, you need to apply to the notary at the place of discovery of the inheritance, ie at the last place of residence of the testator. It can be a private notary or a public notary office – of your choice.
And if the place of residence of the testator is unknown?
In this case, you need to apply for the location of real estate or its main part, and in the absence of real estate – for the location of the main part of movable property.
During what period should a person apply to a notary with a statement of acceptance of the inheritance?
The application for acceptance of the inheritance must be submitted to a notary within 6 months from the date of opening the inheritance. If at the time of the opening of the inheritance the heir lived permanently with the testator, it is considered that he “automatically accepted the inheritance”. If such a person does not wish to accept the inheritance, he must, within 6 months from the date of opening the inheritance, apply to a notary and declare his refusal.
What does “heritage opening day” mean?
The day of the opening of the inheritance – is generally considered the day of death of a person, or the day from which he is declared dead. And if the heir missed the deadline for acceptance of the inheritance, what to do?
Heirs who have missed the deadline for acceptance of the inheritance may, with the written notarized consent of all other heirs who have accepted the inheritance, submit to the notary an application for acceptance of the inheritance at the place of its opening. If other heirs do not give such consent, you need to go to court to determine the additional period for acceptance of the inheritance. In this case, you need to justify the seriousness of the reason for missing the deadline. Good reasons are objectively insurmountable reasons associated with significant difficulties for the heir to apply for acceptance of the inheritance. For example, staying outside Ukraine for a long time and being unable to apply to a diplomatic and consular office of Ukraine abroad for objectively compelling reasons. Good reasons can be considered a long serious illness, military service in the Armed Forces of Ukraine, serving a sentence, and so on. In case the court decides to provide an additional term for acceptance of the inheritance, the heir must apply to the notary with a court decision with a statement.
How to get a certificate of inheritance?
After six months from the opening of the inheritance, the heir must apply to the notary at the place of opening the inheritance with an application and a package of documents. The notary checks the grounds for calling for inheritance, ie by law or by will the inheritance is accepted, if by will, the presence of the will, also checks the fact of death, time and place of opening the inheritance, composition of inherited property, family relations of heirs with the testator.
If the inheritance includes immovable property, the heir must apply to a notary for the issuance of a certificate of inheritance of immovable property and register it with the relevant authorities of state registration of immovable property. In this case, the notary checks the title documents to real estate and the absence of encumbrances and prohibitions on this property. If it is established that the inherited property is under arrest, the certificate is issued after the lifting of such arrest.
What is the deadline for applying for a certificate of inheritance?
It is important not to confuse the deadline for applying for an inheritance and the deadline for obtaining a certificate of inheritance. As noted above, an application for acceptance of an inheritance must be submitted within six months from the date of its opening, and the period for applying for an certificate of inheritance is not limited by law.
Author: Iryna Leiko
lawyer, head of family law practice
Prikhodko & Partners Law Firm