What does it mean to default a term for acceptance of inheritance? How is that possible to miss a deadline for acceptance of inheritance? What is the period prescribed by the legislation? Those and other related questions are dealt with in this section.
A term for acceptance of an inheritance has been set to prevent a process of acceptance (formalisation) of an inheritance from lasting for years: an heir firstly decided to accept an inheritance, then changed his/her mind and decided to waive it, and so on.
According to the current legislation of Ukraine, there is a 6-month period for accepting or waiving an inheritance, which starts on the day of testator’s death. The same period applies to heirs by will and testament and to heirs by law.
Therefore, default of such period leads to certain consequences. If you are an heir that is legally entitled to an inheritance or part thereof, and you missed the said period for any reason, you deem to be as not having accepted an inheritance and forfeited a right to inheritance. Unfortunately, as all of you know, ignorance of the law is no excuse.
However, there is a category of heirs which is treated as an exception. Those are minors and children, and those heirs who were registered at the same address with a testator at the moment of his/her death. This category, despite of missing a term for acceptance of an inheritance, is anyway entitled to draw up a statement of acceptance of an inheritance when the said period expires.
Heirs who do not fall into this category deem to be in default of a term for acceptance of an inheritance. If they want to exercise their right to inheritance, they need to apply to the court for it to extend a term for acceptance of an inheritance; unfortunately, a notary is not entitled to accept a statement of acceptance of an inheritance, if such heir missed the prescribed period. In this case the reason for missing this term should be justifiable for the court to adjudge the extension of a term for acceptance of an inheritance.
Obviously, the extension of a term for acceptance of an inheritance is rather troublesome. So, we advise that you do not default a specified term. If possible, in case you have any questions you should immediately call on a notarial office to make everything clear as regards to what to do after a testator’s death. However, if the term is missed, the legislation stipulates possible restoration of a right to acceptance of an inheritance.