Inheritance law

Contract of inheritance renunciation

The provisions of the Polish Civil Code provide for the possibility of renouncing inheritance by the heirs during the future testator’s lifetime.

Who can conclude a contract of inheritance renunciation?
A contract of inheritance renunciation is concluded by the future testator and the heir. The contract may be concluded by the statutory heirs from each inheritance law group, i.e. not only those who would be called to inherit the given testator’s estate in the first place, but also those who would be called to inherit in the second, third and subsequent order (including spouse, descendants, ascendants and the testator’s siblings). Due to the fact that this contract is not of a personal nature, it may be concluded by an attorney acting on behalf of each party, but a power of attorney granted in the form of a notarial deed will be required.

When and in which form should the contract of inheritance renunciation be concluded?
To be valid, the contract of inheritance renunciation requires the form of a notarial deed. It should be remembered that the contract must be concluded with the future testator during his or her lifetime. It is not possible to draw up such a contract after the death of the testator.

What are the effects of concluding the contract of inheritance renunciation?
The effects resulting from concluding the contract of inheritance renunciation affect not only the renouncing heir, but also his or her descendants (i.e. children, grandchildren, etc.). As a result of concluding the contract, the statutory heir and his or her descendants are excluded from acquiring a given testator’s estate and they are treated as if they predeceased the opening of the inheritance. The renouncing heir and his descendant are also not entitled to a legitim from the given testator’s estate. The testator and the heir may, however, stipulate in the contract that the consequences of renouncing inheritance will apply only to the heir and will not affect his or her descendants (all or only selected ones). Then the descendants will inherit in lieu of the renouncing heir.

Concluding the contract of inheritance renunciation applies only to statutory inheritance, it does not deprive the testator of the possibility of drawing up his or her will and appointing an heir who renounced inheritance in this will.

Author team leader Dudkowiak Family martyna dudkowiak
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