The Waiver of Inheritance According to the Greek Civil Code
After the death of our beloved ones, their property, consisting of both the assets and liabilities is being transferred either to their close relatives or to specific persons, who, by inheritance, the inheritors have indicated. The death of our relatives is often followed by the unpleasing process of waiving the succession, in order to avoid the inheritance of their debts by bank loans, their tax debts, their debts to social security institutions and also debts to individuals. In the event that the debts / liabilities of the inheritance are greater than its assets, the heir has no absolute benefit in proceeding with the inheritance, as it will bear the burden of payment of the debts of the inheritance. In such cases, the heirs have the only way out to waive the succession.
According to articles 1847 and 1848 of Greek Civil Code, the waiver of succession is made by a declaration to the Registrar of the Inheritance Court within four months from the knowledge of the death and the handover of the inheritance, by which the interim heir declares that he doesn’t wish to become the ultimate heir. This period can be extended to one year if the deceased had his last residence abroad or if the heir learned about the heritage while living abroad. The declaration of will of the heir concerns the entire property of the testator, it can not be for a part of the inheritance nor made with condition or be time bound and of course it must be irrevocable. If the above deadline expires, the disclaimer is invalid, while the legacy is fictitiously considered to has been accepted (Article 1850 of Civil Code). Some actions of the heir, such as the management actions of the property, can be interpreted as silent acceptance of the heritage, and for this reason we should be extremely careful as the only way to cancel the fictitious acceptance of the inheritance is to bring an action for annulment, due to fallacy, before the Greek Multimember Court of First Instance. Only the inventory of the heritage does not mean the acceptance of this.
The waiver of the succession is made in person before the Registrar of the Court of the inheritance. The waiver made by a representative requires the submission of a notarial deed providing the special authorisation of waiving while the waivers made a) by the holders of parental responsibility b) by a legal supporter and c) by a guardian of a minor being in legal guardianship, requires a judicial license, authorizing them to waive on their behalf. The Registrar of the Court of Inheritance draws up a waiver report, which then is registered in the books kept at the District Court.
What is particularly important is the fact that, in case of waver, the inheritance is imputed to the heirs of the heir who waved the succession. It is frequently observed the phenomenon the parents who have waived the succession to transfer to their children an overcharged heritage, as they have the misconception that their children's waiver must be done after their adulthood whereas in fact the period for the waiver of children begins on the day after the knowledge of their parents' waiver which means the handover of the heritage to the children. Parents who are going to make the waiver on behalf of their children should therefore obtain a special permit from the competent local District court, submitting for this purpose a special request, which is jugged in accordance with the non-contentious jurisdiction and which must be served on the Prosecutor, with the penalty of inadmissibility of the hearing.
Therefore, in order to avoid our involvement in endless judicial struggles to prove our fallacy, in the event that our relatives make us their heir, leaving us a inheritance whose passive (debt) overpasses the assets (property without charges), we have to contact a lawyer, specialized in issues of waivers, who will advise us on the procedure followed and the waiver’s deadlines.
The law office of Mrs. Kasatkina-Kouskou Svetlana, with great efficiency, method and reliability, undertakes to inform you, to represent you as well as to carry out the necessary legal actions of your waiver of the succession, imposed on you and your children, in case you don’t want to accept it, protecting your property from debts and other charges!