Inheritance of inheritance debts after the amendment of the Civil Code


Inheritance of inheritance debts in the provisions of the law of inheritance functions in two forms. They are: simple acceptance of inheritance and acceptance of inheritance with the benefit of inventory. In the first case, when we accept the inheritance directly, we must take into account that we are fully responsible for the testator's debts. In other words, we agree to inherit both the assets and liabilities of our testator's property, and moreover, the deceased's creditor has the right to demand that we fully repay his claim from our property (not only the one we inherited). The second type of inheritance consists in accepting the inheritance with the benefit of inventory, so the liability for inheritance debts is limited only to the value of the property that we inherit in the inheritance.

Inheritance of inheritance debts before changes

Before introducing changes to the Civil Code, the principle adopted by the legislator was direct inheritance, i.e. simple acceptance of inheritance. This meant that if, within 6 months of receiving information about receipt of the inheritance, the heir did not perform any actions in relation to the situation (e.g. he did not reject the inheritance or did not present a willingness to adopt another form of inheritance), inheriting the inheritance directly under the Act. The only exceptions in this regard were persons without full legal capacity and incapacitated persons.

Inheritance of inheritance debts after the amendment

After the amendment to the provisions of the Civil Code, from October 18, 2015, the main principle of inheritance adopted in the inheritance law is the inheritance of inheritance debts with the benefit of inventory, which is undoubtedly a more favorable solution for the testator compared to the provisions in force before the amendment. After the change, the heir is automatically liable for the inheritance debts only up to the value of the inherited inheritance. If the heir expresses the will to take over the inheritance directly or to reject the inheritance, he will have to submit an appropriate declaration in this regard.

Another, no less important, change to the inheritance law is the change in the rules for determining the status of inheritance property. In the past, such a determination was made by a court bailiff by drawing up an inventory, which charged the heir with additional costs. The new regulation made it possible for the heirs to independently make a list of the inventory and submit it to the court or to a notary public.