Unfortunately, the Polish law of still remains quite formal and being the heir of the deceased is not enough to be owner of the Polish property or Polish real estate. Prior to this it is necessary to get through a number of separate legal proceedings in Poland: proceedings for a declaration of inheritance, tax proceedings, heritage division proceedings and real estate register proceedings.
Determination of inheritance by a Polish court.
Judicial declaration of rights to inheritance, and this is done by the procedure of a confirmation of inheritance acquisition. During the proceedings, the court examines who is entitled to inheritance of the deceased and to what share. Court following proceedings shall issue an order stating who the heir of the deceased. Only when that decision becomes final heirs become the formal owners. Currently the confirmation of inheritance acquisition can also be obtained with a notary in the form of certificate of inheritance, which reduces and simplifies the procedure.
Inheritance tax in Poland.
The next step the heirs have to undergo is the tax proceedings before the tax office. After validation of the decision of the court on confirmation of acquisition of inheritance, the heirs must register with the tax office and settle the inheritance tax. All matters relating to inheritance tax are governed by the Act on tax on inheritance and donations.
Division of Polish inheritance.
In situation where there is several successors to the estate of the deceased, they can share the resulting wealth. Such a division of inheritance is conducted in a separate proceeding known as distribution of the estate, which can be made in the form of the agreement, but only if all heirs agree on the distribution of the estate. If the estate includes property a form of a notarial deed is necessary for the contract. However, if the heirs do not agree as to the division of property, then each of them can claim the judicial division by asking the court decision referring to the division of inheritance.
The entries in the registers and the Polish real estate registry.
The last proceedings through which the heirs must pass is making appropriate entries in the land and mortgage registers. If the the property concerned acquired by means of inheritance is already in land registers, in which the deceased is entered as the owner, then the heirs apply to the district court, land registry department which it maintains, for their registration as the new owners of the property and include a decision of inheritance acquisition and a decision on the division of an estate if it was executed. When for the property concerned there are no land registers maintained, the heirs shall bring an application to the district court, land registry department with jurisdiction over the location of the property for the establishment of the land register. In addition to the decisions listed the above, documents confirming that the deceased was the owner of the property shall be also attached, for example the final act of land ownership, as well as geodetic documentation necessary for proper identification of the property.
Barrister, Senior Counsel