In practice, one of the most important issues for heirs to open an inheritance is a prescribed period of inheritance, whereas any breach of such period may have a negative impact on the whole case.
Thus, it is important for heirs to know that rights of inheritance may be either accepted or waived within 6 months from the date of testator’s death, as this is a period when the circle of heirs is determined. Share of each heir in the overall inheritance property depends on the number of heirs.
There are two types of heirs: heirs by law and heirs by will and testament, which is directly dependent on the availability of a will and testament.
And the heir by will and testament is entitled to waive an inheritance, but only within the period mentioned above. If an heir waives an inheritance, he/she waives an inheritance stated in a will and testament in full. This may be done in favour of the other heirs, also stated in a will and testament. It should be emphasized that an heir by will and testament may not waive an inheritance in favour of an heir by law, regardless of his/her desire and intent.
If no will and testament is available, the circle of heirs is determined pursuant to the law in the order prescribed by the Civil Code of Ukraine.
Please be aware of exceptions!
If an heir was registered at the same address as a testator at the moment of his/her death and failed to comply with the period of coming into inheritance for any reason, such heir is considered to have actually accepted an inheritance. The same rule of accepting an inheritance de facto applies to minors, on behalf of whom their parents or lawful guardians act, and if those have decided that the child must not accept an inheritance for any reason whatsoever, they must turn to the custody and guardianship authorities. In case the custody and guardianship authorities give their permit, then parents shall be allowed to submit a statement of waiver on behalf of a child within prescribed 6-month period from a testator’s death.
If heirs have submitted a statement within 6 months and then changed their mind on this matter, but the period has not expired yet, they may turn to the notary again to formalise another new statement. Such actions may be done multiple times within the indicated period.
It should be mentioned that a notary who assisted you in opening an inheritance case, will work on this case until the certificates are issued. You are not allowed to transfer the case from one notary to another just because you wish so. Thus, before you initiate formalisation of inheritance, you need to visit a notary’s office and get professional advice.