Acceptance and formalization of heritage in Ukraine: procedure, documents, terms

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An obligatory requirement for obtainment of rights to property of a deceased relative is acceptance and formalization of heritage. We prepared a legal advice on this matter. In order to undergo the procedure persons that were recognized as heirs based on law or will are required to collect a number of documents and perform a number of actions list of which depends on legal capability and place where heirs live.

Article 1269 of the Civil Code of Ukraine provides that heir who want to accept heritage but did not live with the testator permanently are required to file a written statement about acceptance of heritage to a notary. Such statement is better to be provided personally. If one wishes to file it via mail then authenticity of signature on it must be notarized.

Those heirs who lived with the deceased at the moment of his death as well as under age heirs and heir with limited capability (despite their place of living) are not required to provide a statement about acceptance of heritage. Article 1268 of the Civil Code of Ukraine provides that they are considered as such that accepted the heritage unless they provide a statement about refusal of heritage acceptance within 6 months.

But in such case they are required to provide evidence of permanent living with the deceased to a notary. Section 211 of the Instruction on procedure of conduction of notarization actions by notaries in Ukraine provides that this can be evidenced by a registration information in a passport or housing log as well as by a certificate issued by Housing Office (condominium), board of housing cooperative or a local council about the fact that they lived with the testator directly before his death.

Besides the heirs will have to give a notary a death certificate which confirms the fact of death of the testator, its date and usually the place for heritage opening. If place of living and place of death of the testator do not coincide it is obligatory to provide a certificate issued by a Housing Office (condominium) or housing cooperative about his permanent place of living or to confirm this fact by information from housing book.

If place of living of the deceased is unknown then the documents are to be submitted at the location where the majority of his real estate is situated by verifying this fact by an extract from the Register of real estate ownership rights. And if the deceased did not have any real estate the documents are submitted at the location where the major part of his personal property is located which is confirmed by an appropriate document (vehicle state registration certificate, extract from the register of ownership rights to securities, etc.). If these documents are absent it is required to obtain court decision about defining heritage location.

Also heirs are required to provide documents which confirm the objects of heritage to a notary. These documents include: extract from the Register of real estate ownership rights, vehicle registration certificate, an excerpt from a bank account, an extract from the register of ownership rights to securities and other documents.

Heirs that receive heritage based on law also need to provide confirmation of kinship with the deceased: certificate issued by bodies of civil status registration, copies of registered status information, information from passports or copies of court decisions about confirmation of kinship. Besides the fact of kinship can be confirmed by written consent of all other heirs.

The fact of sustenance is confirmed by court decision about confirmation of sustenance of disabled or under age person. Disability which results from age is confirmed by a birth certificate while disability based on health conditions – by a retirement record or a certificate issued by the Medical and Social Expertise Commission.

Heirs have 6 months since the moment of death of a testator for collection of the abovementioned documents. Heirs which failed to comply with the term are considered as such that did not accept the heritage and in order to file a statement later they will have to obtain written consent of other heirs or to obtain an appropriate court decision.

When the term of heritage acceptance ends the heirs can obtain their certificates which prove their right to heritage. However obtainment of this document is obligatory only if heirs obtain real estate or other property rights to which are subject to the state registration (vehicles, securities, etc.). The legislation does not provide term during which such certificate is to be issued. Cost of the certificate issuance by a state notary is 34 UAH, private one will usually charge more.

Publication date: 06/12/2011

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