Bulgarian Inheritance


January 15, 2018

An inheritance in Bulgaria, whether left with a Bulgarian will or directly under the legal provisions of Chapter IV of the local Inheritance Act (1949), could be accepted in two alternative ways:

  1. Acceptance of the whole inheritance pot – available per art.49 of the Inheritance Act, or
  2. Acceptance by inventorying – available per art.60, al.2 of the Inheritance Act.

The major difference between these two options available lays at the existing obligations of the ancestor towards creditors. If the heir accepts the inheritance as a whole, then he/she is liable towards any creditors with all his/her (personal) assets. If the heir accepts the inheritance by inventorying, then only the listed assets within the inheritance pot could be a subject of satisfaction by any creditors. Another advantage of the second option, to be mentioned is the right to claim restoration of the so-called “reserved part” of the inheritance. This is part which the Law grants for every direct heir, despite any management listed in personal Bulgarian wills, left by the inheritor.

In the present article, we would like to explain in details the purpose of going through this specific court procedure of accepting inheritance by inventorying. With the performance of such procedure, the applicant replaces a non-existing Grant of Probate (a one they could not obtain in their home country) with an acceptance of the Bulgarian inheritance pot under inventory list. In its nature, this is a “one way” administrative process (i.e. no two opposite parties involved). And it is designated to convince the Bulgarian official institutions that Bulgarian inheritance Law prevails over the foreign Laws, no matter the nationalities of all involved and concerned parties.

As you can probably imagine, the inheritance pot may include not only assets (real estates, other properties etc.) but liabilities towards third parties as well. Your inheritor may have had creditors in the past, but technically there is no way to find out what and how many they are. The Bulgarian legislation says that with any action pointed towards getting something from the inheritance (where a direct claim for reimbursing your reserved part of the inheritance is exactly this one) you will accept the inheritance in its entirety (assets plus any present liabilities).

The specific court procedure of the acceptance of the inheritance in Bulgaria by inventorying means that the heir will be accepting the assets one by one, there will be a precise list with the accepted assets and thus will not be liable for all obligations their inheritor has left towards creditors, But the heir’s liability will be limited only to the amount that he/she will actually inherit as assets and rights.

In other words, the heir will be protected and will not be surprised if in the future a claim for reimbursement is lodged (which is equal to accepting the inheritance as a whole) with much bigger obligations on the horizon than the actual assets they will inherit. In other words – with a bigger debt than the value of the inheritance pot. This procedure is needed, especially in situations where the heirs have no information about their late ancestor and what he/she owes to creditors.

Together with the advantages, there is couple obligations dough, as established in Art.65 of the Inheritance Act for the heir who has accepted the inheritance by inventorying. The heir won’t be entitled legally to sell or transfer the assets for some period. Also, he has to manage these assets with the necessary care they exercise for their own assets.

The above details procedure should be performed at the local District Court. We provide the related legal services – investigation of inherited assets, preparation of an application for acceptance of Bulgarian inheritance, legal representation by a lawyer in court, incl. on claims for reserved part of Bulgarian inheritance, etc. Contact us for more information.




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