There are no differences in non-accepting or waiving an inheritance for most of the heirs. But there is a difference:
- waiver is when a person intentionally comes to a notary’s office and makes a statement of waiver of inheritance. With this statement, an heir states that he/she makes no claims as to the part of inheritance after a testator’s death and does not object that such part of inheritance is distributed among other heirs;
- non-acceptance is when a person fails to turn to a notary and submit any statement, of acceptance or waiver, within 6-month period after a testator’s death either intentionally or because of not knowing of the death of a relative.
Consequences of both are similar
Consequences of both are similar: a right to an inheritance is transferred to other heirs according to the procedure prescribed by the law.
However, there is a category of heirs that deem as having automatically accepted an inheritance, even if they failed to comply with the period of acceptance/waiver of inheritance. Such category cannot waive an inheritance when 6 month period after a testator’s death is expired.
I.e. certain notarial actions are required even if you want to waive an inheritance — you must make a statement of waiver of inheritance.
An heir may waive both an inheritance by will and testament and by law. Moreover, you are entitled to waive either a share of an inheritance that you are entitled to in full, or waive it in favour of other heir by law, regardless of the order, or of other heir by will and testament. Therefore, you have influence on the share of other heirs in inheritance.
If you are the only heir stated in a will and testament, but you don’t want to accept an inheritance by will and testament, but rather distribute an inheritance among other heirs (relatives) by law on the common grounds, you may draw up a respective waiver at the notary’s office and accept your inheritance by law. It means that a statement is drawn up anyway, but it should include clarification that an heir waives an inheritance by will and testament.
An heir may not draw up a statement of waiver of a certain share of an inheritance, for example, he would like to accept an apartment, but he does not accept a car (he doesn’t want to). No such statements are allowed. If you decided to waive an inheritance, you waive it completely and in full.
Therefore, prior to waiving an inheritance, we recommend you to think on the consequences of such action, and if you are absolutely sure that you are going to waive an inheritance, you should draw up a respective statement, not just saying it aloud.