Inheritance law /

Planned amendments to inheritance law

Reasons for change

The draft aims to introduce changes concerning the protection of the rights of heirs of minors and those who are completely incapacitated. The legislator’s intention was first of all to simplify inheritance proceedings. As a result of the amendment, those who ‘persistently evade’ their alimony obligation towards the testator and their duty to take care of the testator may be declared ‘unworthy of inheritance’ .

Proposed main changes

Under the planned amendment to the Civil Code, the circle of heirs will be limited. It will include – as part of the so-called third succession group – the grandparents and siblings of the testator and their descendants. Further relatives will be excluded from the inheritance.

The amendment also provides for changes regarding the time limit for submitting a declaration on acceptance or rejection of the inheritance. This is intended to protect minor heirs. If submitting a declaration on acceptance or rejection of the inheritance will require the permission of the family court, the 6-month deadline for submitting a declaration on acceptance or rejection of the inheritance is to be suspended for the duration of the proceedings.

According to the amendment, the jurisdiction of courts, which will receive declarations on acceptance or rejection of the inheritance on behalf of minors, will change from the family court to the inheritance court.

As regards the reserved portion, the changes intend to allow the court to divide the reserved portion in instalments and even to reduce its amount in a justified situation.

The planned changes will, in principle, enter into force within three months of their publication in the Journal of Laws, with certain exceptions, where the legislator has provided for a longer period for the changes to enter into force – 12 months.

All information regarding the issues described above can be clarified by our lawyers specializing in Polish inheritance law.

Please see recent and updated: guide over inheritance in Poland.

Author team leader DKP Legal Marta Oleśkowska
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