The acceptance of heritage with inventory is the legal possibility the heirs of the deceased person to limit the liability of the legator’s obligations to the amount of the inheritance received.
Since the inheritance involves both rights and obligations, it can often result in a situation where acceptance of inheritance carries more liabilities than assets for the heirs. In practice, by accepting an inheritance which includes liabilities of large amounts, an heir limits his/her liability (for payments, for example) to the amount of assets he/she will acquire by inheritance. Thus, in the worst case, the property balance will be ’zero’, which is more favorable than being at a loss.
Necessary documents for acceptance of heritage with inventory:
- Notarized written application to the regional court
It should be filed in the area where the inheritance has been opened or where a real estate is located.
The application contains an inventory of the properties included in the inheritance – as far as familiar to the applicant all known real estates (and possessions) of the legator shall be described. Based on this inventory, the court drafts a report, in which all possessions are described separately.
- An extract from a certificate of death;
- An inheritance certificate;
- Documents certifying the property rights of the deceased person in respect of immovable and movable property;
- Bank receipt as evidence for payment of state fee – amounting to BGN 25.
- The deadline for submission of the application is 3 months, as of becoming aware of the legator’s death.
- A one-time term extension for acceptance of inheritance is also possible – by 3 months more if the omission is due to unforeseen circumstances or for other reasons out of the control of the heir.
A case is initiated upon submission of the application for acceptance of inheritance with inventory. The court case includes hearings in open sessions. If the court resolves that inheritance may be accepted with inventory and there is enough evidence of the legator’s property rights, a stamping and inventory of the property inherited is proceeded with.
The respective regional judge drafts protocols for the stamping, printing, and inventory of the possessions. The court may assign the performance of these actions to the competent municipal or to regional authorities, to a mayor’s office, as well as to a baliff.
An assessment also is performed upon inventory procedures. If necessary, the evaluation of market prices of all property components is performed by means of court expertise. In such cases, for the applicant to be able express his/her statement on the court expertise, an open court hearing is scheduled.
The acceptance of the inheritance with inventory is entered in a special book of the respective regional court for acceptance and refusal of inheritance. In case of missing data for property left by the legator, the court directly proceeds to entering the application in this special book.
Consequences from acceptance with inventory
An heir, who has accepted inheritance with inventory, is obliged to manage the hereditary property with the due care.
The main limitation for acceptance of inheritance with inventory is that the heir is not allowed to transfer the explicit permission of the regional judge:
- real estates – for up to 5 years as of acceptance;
- movable property – for up to 3 years.
If an heir transferred any property despite this prohibition, he/she will be held unlimitedly liable for the obligations of the legator – as if inheritance has not been accepted with inventory.
Relations with creditors of the legator
The creditors of the inheritance and the testators may, within three months as of its acceptance, request separation of the legator’s property from the heir’s property. The request for separation prevents merger of the two property complexes – the legator’s and the heir’s. Thus, the creditors of the legator and the creditors of the heir will not be satisfied by one common property.