Formalisation of inheritance in Ukraine
It is known that inheritance is a type of notarial action that anyone may encounter.
Let us consider the basic aspects that a person should know to initiate the procedure of inheritance:
- The inheritance is transfer of rights and obligationsfrom a deceased natural person (referred to as testator) to other persons (referred to as heirs).
- The inheritable property includes everything that belonged to the deceased at the moment of death, i.e. property and encumbered obligations.
- The process of inheritance starts right after the death of testator. However, you may come into inheritance or waive it within the period stipulated by the legislation, in particular within 6 months after the death of natural person and not later! The exception are those heirs who were registered at the same address with the deceased at the moment of death of the latter, or when heirs are minors who are considered as have accepted the inheritance automatically.
- The place for opening an inheritance case is the place of residence of a testator at the moment of his/her death, in other words — the last place of residence. Therefore, a notary who operates in the area of the place of residence of the deceased shall be entitled to open a probate.
- There are two types of inheritance: by law and by will and testament. If the deceased has left a last will and testament and this fact is revealed when inheritance case is opened, the heirs are only those persons who are indicated as such in a will and testament and nobody else, whereas this is the will of the deceased while alive. With no will and testament available, an inheritance will be allocated by law according to the procedure and in order stipulated by the Civil Code of Ukraine.
Therefore, the heirs are obliged to turn to a notary and open an inheritance case within 6 months from the moment of death of a testator; they also may waive an inheritance within the same period, in full or in favour of the other heir. The heirs either accept or waive the inheritance in full. Partial acceptance of inheritance is not allowed by the legislation.
Please keep in mind that opening an inheritance case does not imply that you are the owner of the property of the deceased. The title to the property of a testator may be registered only in 6 months after the death of a testator by obtaining the certificate of inheritance.
Thus, the inheritance procedures are very important. You should comply with the terms stipulated for acceptance of an inheritance. To get professional assistance in the matters of inheritance you must apply to a notary who will scrutinize the documents and provide you with detailed and comprehensive information.
How to formalise an inheritance? How to formalise an inheritance in Kharkiv?
The solution is obvious: one should call on a notary who provides any necessary assistance in correct formulation and strict compliance with the laws of Ukraine.
The procedure of inheritance requires special attention, whereas each specific case is unique and individual, thus may have certain peculiarities.
To obtain qualified assistance in your inheritance case, we recommend to call on a notary who examines all documents and provides you with professional advice.
However, there are certain issues and details that everyone should be aware of:
- To open an inheritance case, one should turn to a notary within 6 months (it is very important to comply with this requirement) after a testator’s death; the inheritance itself will be claimed, i.e. the title deed will be obtained, after 6 months at any convenient time, provided the inheritance case have been opened.
- An inheritance shall be opened at the last place of residence of the deceased; if such place is unknown, at the place where the major part subject to inheritance is located. You may prove the fact of residence of the deceased at specific address by providing the certificate issued by the House Maintenance Office, certificate issued by the address bureau, according to the records in the household register, which is to be submitted to a notary when opening an inheritance.
- There are two types of inheritance: by law and by will and testament. With the will and testament, the heirs shall be those who are stated in this document. With no will and testament available, the heirs will be assigned by law according to the procedure and in order stipulated by the Civil Code of Ukraine. It should be emphasized that the first line to inherit are children, spouses and parents of the deceased exclusively.
- An heir is entitled to waive the inheritance, having this done within 6 months. If you want to waive your inheritance, it is also necessary to turn to a notary who opened the inheritance case and draw up the respective statement at the notary’s office. In case you change your mind until 6-month period expires and agree to accept the inheritance, you may withdraw your previous waiver statement.
- You may not accept something and waive the other. Either you accept or waive an inheritance, this is done in full. Accepting an inheritance, you inherently accept not only rights of an heir (e.g., a title to apartment), but also his/her liabilities (e.g., on repayment of credit).
Briefly, the procedure of inheritance is the following: you collect documents, your notary opens an inheritance case within 6 months; when 6-month period expires you must visit a notary again and initiate the process of formalisation of documents in your name, obtain necessary certificates on real and personal property.
Formalisation of an inheritance in Kharkiv
Terms for coming into an inheritance
In practice, one of the most important issues for heirs to open an inheritance is a prescribed period of inheritance, whereas any breach of such period may have a negative impact on the whole case.
Thus, it is important for heirs to know that rights of inheritance may be either accepted or waived within 6 months from the date of testator’s death, as this is a period when the circle of heirs is determined. Share of each heir in the overall inheritance property depends on the number of heirs.
There are two types of heirs: heirs by law and heirs by will and testament, which is directly dependent on the availability of a will and testament.
And the heir by will and testament is entitled to waive an inheritance, but only within the period mentioned above. If an heir waives an inheritance, he/she waives an inheritance stated in a will and testament in full. This may be done in favour of the other heirs, also stated in a will and testament. It should be emphasized that an heir by will and testament may not waive an inheritance in favour of an heir by law, regardless of his/her desire and intent.
If no will and testament is available, the circle of heirs is determined pursuant to the law in the order prescribed by the Civil Code of Ukraine.
If heirs have submitted a statement within 6 months and then changed their mind on this matter, but the period has not expired yet, they may turn to the notary again to formalise another new statement. Such actions may be done multiple times within the indicated period.
It should be mentioned that a notary who assisted you in opening an inheritance case, will work on this case until the certificates are issued. You are not allowed to transfer the case from one notary to another just because you wish so. Thus, before you initiate formalisation of inheritance, you need to visit a notary’s office and get professional advice.
Documents for an inheritance
First of all, before opening an inheritance case to obtain a certificate of inheritance in future, you must collect a package of documents. Whereas each and any inheritance case is individual and inherits a series of specific peculiarities, we strongly recommend to turn to a notary for professional advice in order to know what documents are required and ensure that nothing is omitted.
In the process of inheritance formalisation, documents are collected in two stages, which are the following: the first stage — when you collect required documents to open an inheritance case, and the second stage — when you collect required documents to actually formalise a certificate of inheritance at the notary’s office.
List of documents required for initial opening of an inheritance case:
- Certificate of your testator’s death;
- Certificate of the last place of residence of testator at the moment of death;
- A will and testament (if available);
- Identification documents of an heir;
- Documents that confirm kin relationships are required for an heir by law, for example, certificate of birth or certificate of marriage.
If you have all of the listed documents at hand, an inheritance case may be opened. A notary will draw up a respective statement on acceptance/waiver of inheritance, and an inheritance case will be opened based on such statement. Then, a notary must register your inheritance case in the Inheritance Register. If it becomes known in the process of registration that another notary has already opened the same inheritance case, a notary shall not open another similar inheritance case, but send an heir to visit such notary who opened an inheritance case.
To obtain the certificate of inheritance, you are required to additionally provide the following documents (list of documents depends on the assets to be inherited):
- Identification documents of an heir;
- Documents on property the certificate to which you are planning to obtain (certificate of an apartment privatization or apartment purchase agreement, as well as a technical certificate for an apartment, or for a vehicle, etc.);
- Assessment of real estate or vehicle (in case an heir is obliged to pay tax on inheritance formalisation);
- Power of attorney, if an heir is acting via his/her representative;
- Identification documents of an agent under the power of attorney.
When all of the listed documents are submitted, a notary is drawing up a statement being the basis for a certificate of inheritance, which is to be obtained by you.
This article includes a standard list of documents that may be required, but each specific case may require additional certificates, documents, inquiries, etc. Therefore, a notary’s advice prior to initiating an inheritance case is a must.
Statement of an inheritance in Kharkiv
Statement of an inheritance rightin Kharkiv
Coming into an inheritance
First of all, we must clarify that coming into inheritance is actually acceptance of inheritance.
It is a very complicated process that requires specific actions on the part of an heir. The fact of testator’s death itself does not mean that now heirs are entitled to dispose of an apartment or a car which belonged to the deceased. For the heirs to be considered as those who officially accepted inheritance and are entitled to sell, present or in any other way use the property, owned by inheritance, at their own discretion, they are obliged to turn to a notary (notarial office), to have a notary open an inheritance case, and obtain a certificate of inheritance which is required to effect any further actions with the property.
Moreover, a notary, to whom you must turn to within the prescribed period, i.e. 6 months from the date of testator’s death, shall be of the last place of residence of the deceased. If an heir failed to do so within the prescribed period for any reason, such heir deems to be forfeited of the right to inheritance, and the only solution in such situation is to apply to the court to adjudge the extension of the period for acceptance of inheritance, either by lay or by will and testament.
If you are one of those heirs included in a will and testament, and you think that after the testator’s death you will be able to dispose the inheritance stated in a will and testament, and there is no need to turn to a notary as regards to this matter and accept the inheritance, unfortunately, you are totally wrong. A will and testament is just a document which states the last will of a person when alive, but this document grants you no rights to dispose any property, because it is not a document of entitlement by its nature. There are no exceptions for such heirs, so both heirs by law and by will and testament must turn to a notary within 6-month period in order to come into inheritance.
List of the documents required to initiate the procedure of coming into an inheritance:
- Certificate of the testator’s death;
- Certificate of the last place of residence of testator at the moment of death (you may obtain such certificate from House Maintenance Office or similar authority);
- A will and testament (if available);
- Identification documents of an heir;
- If you are to accept an inheritance by law, it is necessary to confirm your kin relationships with a testator (certificate of marriage, certificate of birth, certificate of alternation of name, etc.).
Waiver of inheritance
There are no differences in non-accepting or waiving an inheritance for most of the heirs. But there is a difference:
- waiver is when a person intentionally comes to a notary’s office and makes a statement of waiver of inheritance. With this statement, an heir states that he/she makes no claims as to the part of inheritance after a testator’s death and does not object that such part of inheritance is distributed among other heirs;
- non-acceptance is when a person fails to turn to a notary and submit any statement, of acceptance or waiver, within 6-month period after a testator’s death either intentionally or because of not knowing of the death of a relative.
Consequences of both are similar: a right to an inheritance is transferred to other heirs according to the procedure prescribed by the law.
However, there is a category of heirs that deem as having automatically accepted an inheritance, even if they failed to comply with the period of acceptance/waiver of inheritance. Such category cannot waive an inheritance when 6 month period after a testator’s death is expired.
I.e. certain notarial actions are required even if you want to waive an inheritance — you must make a statement of waiver of inheritance.
An heir may waive both an inheritance by will and testament and by law. Moreover, you are entitled to waive either a share of an inheritance that you are entitled to in full, or waive it in favour of other heir by law, regardless of the order, or of other heir by will and testament. Therefore, you have influence on the share of other heirs in inheritance.
If you are the only heir stated in a will and testament, but you don’t want to accept an inheritance by will and testament, but rather distribute an inheritance among other heirs (relatives) by law on the common grounds, you may draw up a respective waiver at the notary’s office and accept your inheritance by law. It means that a statement is drawn up anyway, but it should include clarification that an heir waives an inheritance by will and testament.
An heir may not draw up a statement of waiver of a certain share of an inheritance, for example, he would like to accept an apartment, but he does not accept a car (he doesn’t want to). No such statements are allowed. If you decided to waive an inheritance, you waive it completely and in full.
Therefore, prior to waiving an inheritance, we recommend you to think on the consequences of such action, and if you are absolutely sure that you are going to waive an inheritance, you should draw up a respective statement, not just saying it aloud.
Default of a term for acceptance of an inheritance
What does it mean to default a term for acceptance of inheritance? How is that possible to miss a deadline for acceptance of inheritance? What is the period prescribed by the legislation? Those and other related questions are dealt with in this section.
A term for acceptance of an inheritance has been set to prevent a process of acceptance (formalisation) of an inheritance from lasting for years: an heir firstly decided to accept an inheritance, then changed his/her mind and decided to waive it, and so on.
According to the current legislation of Ukraine, there is a 6-month period for accepting or waiving an inheritance, which starts on the day of testator’s death. The same period applies to heirs by will and testament and to heirs by law.
Therefore, default of such period leads to certain consequences. If you are an heir that is legally entitled to an inheritance or part thereof, and you missed the said period for any reason, you deem to be as not having accepted an inheritance and forfeited a right to inheritance. Unfortunately, as all of you know, ignorance of the law is no excuse.
However, there is a category of heirs which is treated as an exception. Those are minors and children, and those heirs who were registered at the same address with a testator at the moment of his/her death. This category, despite of missing a term for acceptance of an inheritance, is anyway entitled to draw up a statement of acceptance of an inheritance when the said period expires.
Heirs who do not fall into this category deem to be in default of a term for acceptance of an inheritance. If they want to exercise their right to inheritance, they need to apply to the court for it to extend a term for acceptance of an inheritance; unfortunately, a notary is not entitled to accept a statement of acceptance of an inheritance, if such heir missed the prescribed period. In this case the reason for missing this term should be justifiable for the court to adjudge the extension of a term for acceptance of an inheritance.
Obviously, the extension of a term for acceptance of an inheritance is rather troublesome. So, we advise that you do not default a specified term. If possible, in case you have any questions you should immediately call on a notarial office to make everything clear as regards to what to do after a testator’s death. However, if the term is missed, the legislation stipulates possible restoration of a right to acceptance of an inheritance.
Certificate of inheritance
Per se, a certificate of inheritance is one of those important documents that confirm your title to property. It may refer to an apartment, house, land, or car, accounts, shares, etc.
This document is issued by a notary and confirms that a person came into a property after a testator’s death.
If a person fails to obtain the respective certificate of inheritance from a notary, such person may actually use such property, without any right to dispose it. You will not be able to sell an apartment, withdraw money from the account, or present a car, because to do so you must first receive a certificate of inheritance for such property exclusively.
An heir may receive this certificate only in case the legally prescribed term is not missed, and an inheritance case has been opened by a notary within 6 months after the death of a testator, which is stipulated by the legislation.
Therefore, the procedure of receiving such a certificate comprises two steps: the first step lies in opening of an inheritance case, and the second step is receiving a certificate of inheritance itself.
The number of certificates of inheritance depends on the amount of property of a testator and the number of heirs. For example, if a testator leaves his/her apartment as an inheritance, and there are 5 heirs who came into inheritance, each of them will receive a certificate of inheritance to 1/5 part of apartment; the same procedure applies to any other property.
There are two types of certificates of inheritance, namely: certificate of inheritance by will and testament and certificate of inheritance by law. The type of a certificate has no impact on the right to use and dispose the property.
Similar to any other document that you receive from a notary, you need to collect a certain set of documents. This issue is rather important because each and every inheritance case is diligent, with its own peculiarities and complications. Therefore, we strongly recommend to apply to a notary for a qualified and qualitative piece of advice as to the list of documents required to receive a certificate of inheritance.
Inheritance by will and testament
Probably, everyone contemplates on a question, who is going to use my property when I pass away? Well, if you want to avoid such thoughts, you may turn to a notary and draw up a document, such as a last will and testament. Let’s gain an insight into the issue of inheritance by will and testament.
A testator may state a legacy in a last will and testament, for example, after a testator’s death, an heir gains a title to an apartment, but this heir will be also obliged to give another person a right to use this apartment.
If you want an heir to do anything (enter a university, relocate to specific place, etc.), you may draw up a last will and testament with such specific condition stated in it. For example, if you grandchild enters a higher educational establishment, then he/she receives an inherited apartment. We must mention that a condition stated in a last will and testament must be in effect at the moment of testator’s death.
Spouses who own any property on the right of joint ownership may draw up their joint last will and testament for such property. After the death of one spouse, the respective share in the ownership right is transferred to the spouse alive, and after the death of the second spouse an heir by will and testament gains a right to formalise an inheritance and receive a certificate of inheritance.
Prior to drawing up any will and testament, you should seek some professional notarial advice; a notary will help you to make everything clear to account for your wishes in the document.
Formalisation of a last will and testament in Kharkiv
Every person may draw up a last will and testament at notarial office, which means to determine his/her heir in advance and decide on the future of all the property remaining after his/her death.
A testator may write a last will and testament by him/herself and visit a notary to notarise this document afterwards, or draw up this document directly at a notary’s office. In case you need to draw up a last will and testament and there is no notary around, a last will and testament may be certified by the following persons:
- In settlements — respective municipal authority represented by the authorized official;
- in hospital, retirement homes — chief physician, deputy chief physician, doctor on duty;
- in voyages such authorities are vested in a ship captain;
- in expedition trips — the chief of expedition;
- for in-place forces, where there are no notaries and authorities nearby that are entitled to similar notarial actions, a last will and testament of militaries, as well as members of their families, is certified by the commanding officer of the military unit;
- a last will and testament of persons in places of executing punishments, as well as in detention centres — head of the institution.
A last will and testament is always drawn up in written and signed by a testator personally and exclusively; therefore, the presence of a testator is a must anyway. There is a type of a secret last will and testament. A testator submits a secret will and testament sealed in an envelope to a notary; and then this envelope is signed by a testator personally, signed and sealed by a notary. A notary puts this envelope in another envelope in the presence of a testator and seals it. When an inheritance case is opened, a notary sets a date for opening a last will and testament and then opens an envelope in the presence of heirs.
Notarisation of a last will and testament
If you want to draw up a last will and testament, you must turn to a notary who will notarise and thereby brings it into force as an official legal document.
A testator may write a last will and testament by him/herself and visit a notary to notarise this document, or draw up this document directly at a notary’s office. As an alternative, a notary may type text of a last will and testament according to the oral information provided by a testator. If a last will and testament is drawn up in such way, you must read the text aloud and sign it.
If there are any physical restrictions that prevent you from reading the text aloud by yourself, notarisation of such last will and testament takes place in the presence of two witnesses at least.
The following persons may not be witnesses: notary, persons in favour of whom the last will and testament is written, family members and close relatives of heirs by will and testament, persons who cannot neither read or sign a last will and testament.
A last will and testament is drawn up in written and signed by a testator personally; therefore, the presence of a testator is a must.
There is a type of a secret last will and testament. A testator submits a secret will and testament sealed in an envelope to a notary; and then this envelope is signed by a testator, signed and sealed by a notary. A notary puts this envelope in another envelope in the presence of a testator and seals it. When an inheritance case is opened, a notary sets a date for opening a last will and testament and then opens an envelope in the presence of heirs.
A testator has a right to withdraw a last will and testament in full or draw up a new one, which may cancel a previous one, partially or in full.
Prior to notarisation of a last will and testament, all details should be thought over; therefore, you must turn to a notary to obtain qualified and qualitative assistance.