Divide inheritance in Poland


Dividing inheritance in Poland

The first stage of inheriting in Poland consists of establishing who inherits and in what part. The second stage consists of dividing Polish inheritance, that is the actual division of the property mass between eligible heirs. If Polish real estate is included in the inheritance, the partition of the succession can be made in a form of a court or a notary agreement or the court proceedings. In the framework of dividing Polish inheritance the assessment of the property mass value takes place, including donations received. The goal of the division of inheritance is a definite division and assessment of the property mass between heirs, determination of division between eligible heirs, e.g. determining the rules of payment, conditions for abolishing joint ownership. This is the most difficult and the most quarrelsome moment of the physical division of the inheritance mass that requires legal and tax knowledge to ensure the division between heirs to be fair, in accordance with the law and the intent of the testator.

Several persons might often inherit after one heir. If the inheritance falls onto several heirs, the joint ownership of the estate is regulated by Polish laws pertaining to the fractional parts of the property. That is, several heirs become co-owners because statutory commonality exists between them. Such commonality is not final in character, it exists only until the moment of the division of Polish inheritance. Joint-heirs are not obliged to divide Polish estate because the law does not compel them to do so.

The division of the inheritance in Poland is based on the fact that with the moment of completion of the joint ownership, the value of the whole testator's estate is assessed and each part of inheritance every beneficiary is eligible for is established. The division of the inheritance can also be made through an agreement and the court proceedings. 

The agreement regarding the division of inheritance

The division of inheritance established via an agreement is possible only when the unanimous consent of the co-beneficiaries exists. When consent does not exist, the division of inheritance is made by the court. The consent of all co-beneficiaries must exist not only in case of the division itself but the way in which the division will be executed. Parties to an agreement are in this case all co-beneficiaries. It may also happen that one of the parties is a different person, e.g. in the situation when the beneficiary had sold his or her share of the inherited property mass. The form of agreement is in itself dependent on the fact what the inheritance consists of. If it is Polish real estate, a notary act is required. If it is an enterprise, the agreement regarding the division of inheritance should be drafted in a written form signed and authenticated by a notary. 

Division of inheritance before the Polish Inheritance Court

To establish the contents of the estate, the moment of the opening, that is the death of the testator, is crucial. The inventory list, if drafted, forms a base for establishing the division of inherited property as well as the statements submitted by the heirs and presented by them proofs. To appraise the value of the inherited property, the timing of the division is relevant. The appraisal of the value of each individual element of inheritance is based on their market price at the time of the division. 

Legal consequences of the division of Polish inheritance

The division of Polish inheritance results in the legal and actual consequences. Legal consequences are mainly that the property rights granted to the heirs are now part of the respective personal estates. The estate debt liability is changed. From the moment of the division of inheritance each of the previous co-beneficiaries is now independently liable for the estate debts in proportion to their share. The actual consequences are a result of the estate under the previous joint ownership seizing to exist as an entity.

The costs related to the division of Polish inheritance

The division of Polish inheritance can be finalized at the notary's office in a form of a notary act, the costs in accordance with the notary's tariff. In the case where unanimous consent of the co-beneficiaries does not exist, court proceedings are necessary (application payment is 1,000 zł and if real estate is part of inheritance - 2,000 zł.). Our Law Firm has extensive experience with inheritance division and disinheritance court proceedings. If you have any questions relating to legal advice on these issues - our Warsaw law office is at your disposal. 


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