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What to do if the inheritance is not accepted in time? What is worth knowing?


In Ukraine, the deadline for acceptance of the inheritance – 6 months from the date of its opening (from the date of death of the testator). However, heirs often apply to a notary later, which is why they are denied a certificate of the right to inherit.

It is noted that a person who did not have time to accept the inheritance within 6 months, may be set an additional period for its acceptance on the following grounds: – with the written consent of the heirs who accepted the inheritance, – on the basis of a court decision submission of an application for acceptance of inheritance.

Thus, the claims of the heir to determine the additional period for filing an application for acceptance of the inheritance are subject to the rules of exclusive jurisdiction and they are filed at the location of the property or its main part, if such claims arise in immovable property.

As the case law shows, valid reasons for missing the deadline for acceptance of the inheritance are those that are associated with objective, insurmountable, significant difficulties for the heir to take action to accept the inheritance, namely:
1️⃣ prolonged illness of the heirs;
2️⃣ stay of the heir for a long time outside Ukraine;
3️⃣ serving a sentence in places of imprisonment;
4️⃣ service in the Armed Forces of Ukraine;
5️⃣ ignorance of the heir about the presence of the will;
6️⃣ large distance between the place of permanent residence of the heirs and the location of the hereditary property;
7️⃣ difficult working conditions, which, in particular, are associated with long business trips, including foreign ones, etc.

At the same time, the courts take into account mainly written evidence: certificates of medical institutions on the state of health and treatment, certificates of stay of a person on a business trip or outside Ukraine, other certificates, acts, correspondence containing information about the circumstances that prevented treatment. the heir to the notary office in due time.

In particular, the courts do not recognize the following as a valid reason for missing the deadline for filing an application for acceptance of inheritance:
?- legal ignorance of the plaintiff regarding the term and procedure for acceptance of the inheritance;
?- ignorance of the person about the presence of hereditary property;
?- elderly age of the plaintiff;
?- incapacity of the plaintiff;
?- establishment by the court of a fact that has legal significance for the acceptance of the inheritance (for example, establishing the fact of living with one family);
?- uncertainty between the heirs who will accept the inheritance;
?- lack of funds to travel to the place of discovery of the heritage;
?- adverse weather conditions.

According to the Law of Ukraine “On Judicial Fees”, the amount of court fees for filing a statement of claim to determine an additional deadline for filing an application for acceptance of inheritance is 0.4 of the subsistence level for able-bodied persons.

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