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Inheritance Law

Acceptance of Inheritance in Greece

Accepting an inheritance in Greece is an important legal act that involves taking over the assets and liabilities of the deceased, completing legal formalities and fulfilling tax obligations. It involves long-term financial and administrative responsibilities, so it is essential to understand all aspects and seek professional advice when necessary.

As attorneys specializing in Greek inheritance law, we can help navigate the process, ensure that all legal requirements are met, and advise on the best course of action regarding liabilities and tax obligations.

Contact us today for expert legal advice and support on accepting or rejecting an inheritance in Greece.

Thessaloniki
+30 2310 284408

Berlin
+49 30 88702382

[email protected]

What is a Declaration of Acceptance or Rejection of Inheritance?

Acceptance of an inheritance is a formal acknowledgment and acceptance of the rights and responsibilities associated with the deceased’s estate.

When you accept an inheritance, you take ownership of all of the deceased’s assets, which may include real estate, bank accounts and financial assets, personal property (such as jewelry, vehicles), or business interests.

At the same time, you assume responsibility for any liabilities or debts the deceased had. This means that you are legally obligated to pay these debts with the assets from the inheritance.

Because you must pay any outstanding debts with the inherited assets. If the debts exceed the value of the assets, you may have to consider accepting the inheritance with reservations-or rejecting it altogether.

By rejecting the inheritance, you relinquish any legal claim to the deceased’s assets so that you will not be held responsible for the deceased’s debts or financial obligations.

How to Accept an Inheritance in Greece

The process of accepting an inheritance involves several legal steps to ensure that your acceptance is officially recognized and that you comply with Greek laws.

The process begins by determining if the deceased left a will in Greece. This can be done by searching in the deceased’s residence, contacting their lawyer, or checking with the local Greek Notaries Association.

The process of accepting an inheritance involves several legal steps to ensure that your acceptance is officially recognized and that you comply with Greek law.

The process begins by determining if the deceased left a will in Greece. This can be done by searching the deceased’s residence, contacting the deceased’s lawyer, or checking with the local Greek Notaries Association.

To accept an inheritance, the heir must file a formal declaration of acceptance of the inheritance with the competent court of first instance where the deceased last resided. If both the deceased and the heir were resident in Greece, the heir must file a declaration of acceptance of the inheritance within four months from the date of death or from the date the heir became aware of the inheritance.

Often, the acceptance must be executed as a notarial deed before a Greek notary.

If the inheritance includes real estate, the deed of acceptance must be registered with the local land registry (Ktimatologio) or mortgage registry (Hypothikofylakio).

In the case of bank accounts and other movable assets, the heir must provide the bank with the documents accepting the inheritance and the tax clearance for the transfer of the assets.

After accepting an inheritance, the heir must pay an inheritance tax based on the valuation of the inherited property. The heir must file an inheritance tax return with the tax authority within six months (if both the deceased and the heir were residents) or twelve months (if either party was a nonresident).

In order to limit their liability, the heirs may accept the inheritance with the benefit of an inventory, also called acceptance with reservations. This means that an official inventory of the deceased’s assets and liabilities is made and that the heir’s liability for the deceased’s debts is limited to the value of the inherited assets.

Accepting an inheritance has several legal and financial implications:

  • Transfer of ownership: The assets are legally transferred into your name, which may require additional steps such as registering property with the local land office or updating bank account records.
  • Debt Responsibility: You must pay any outstanding debts with the inherited assets. If the debts exceed the value of the assets, you may need to consider accepting the inheritance with reservations.
  • Tax responsibilities: The payment of estate taxes based on the value of the inherited property is mandatory.

Given the complexity of the process and the need to navigate the Greek legal and tax systems, it is advisable to seek the assistance of a Greek inheritance lawyer to ensure compliance and proper handling of the inheritance procedures.

How to Reject an Inheritance in Greece

Rejecting an inheritance means formally refusing to accept the assets and liabilities of the deceased. This is a legally binding act that ensures that you are not liable for any of the deceased’s debts or obligations, and it must be done formally and within the specified legal timeframes, as it has specific implications and consequences.

Generally, the refusal must be made within four months from the date of death or from the date the heir becomes aware of the inheritance.

To disclaim an inheritance, you must file a formal disclaimer with the competent Court of First Instance (Protodikeio) where the deceased had their last residence or where the majority of their property is located. The declaration must clearly state your intention to refuse the inheritance and must be filed in person or through a legal representative.

The court will then set a date for a hearing where the disclaimer will be officially recorded.

Although not always necessary, some people choose to make the rejection in the form of a notarial act before a notary public for additional formalization.

What happens if you don’t accept or refuse an inheritance?

By disclaiming an inheritance, you relinquish any legal claim to the deceased’s property, including real estate, money, personal property, and any other form of wealth.

At the same time, you are not held responsible for any of the deceased’s debts or financial obligations, which protects you from potential financial burdens that may exceed the value of the inherited assets.

Thus, while you protect yourself from potential financial liabilities associated with the decedent’s estate, you also forfeit any potential benefits or assets that could have been derived from the inheritance.

Once you disclaim an inheritance, the right to inherit passes to the next eligible heir in the order of succession. This could be another family member or relative. If subsequent heirs also refuse the inheritance, the inheritance continues down the line until someone accepts it or it is finally forfeited to the state.

The rejection of an inheritance is usually irrevocable. Once you formally disclaim an inheritance, you cannot change your mind and accept it later.

* The information on this site is provided for the sole purpose of illustrating the subject matter. It in no way constitutes legal advice nor a substitute for individual legal advice provided by counsel. Each case is unique, presents unique circumstances, and should be evaluated in detail by an attorney who will verify its specific circumstances.

Contact Leptokaridou Law Firm

Contact our law firm for expert advice on the legal steps to accept or reject an inheritance.

Do you need legal assistance with an inheritance in Greece? Contact our experienced legal team for guidance on accepting or rejecting an inheritance in Greece.

We specialize in Greek inheritance law and are here to help you understand the implications of your decisions and provide solid legal support throughout the process, offering comprehensive support and personalized advice tailored to your unique situation.

Our legal team will help you handle an inheritance in Greece.

Thessaloniki
+30 2310 284408

Berlin
+49 30 88702382

[email protected]

Get professional assistance to navigate the complexities of accepting or rejecting your inheritance in Greece.

Let our expertise guide you through the legal complexities of inheritance. Our dedicated team is ready to help you make informed decisions, whether you need to accept or reject an inheritance. Contact us today for reliable and professional legal advice.

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