Successions in Russia
Se muestra en el idioma por defecto redactado para este país (INGLÉS).
1 - How can I pass on my assets while I’m still alive?
You may dispose of your property as you see fit, for example, you may sell it, present it, exchange it etc. You may transfer you property to any natural and legal persons. Some of the transactions concerning disposal of real estate must be notarized, for example, transaction concerning disposal of a share in real estate (since the 1st of June 2016). Please be aware that after disposal of the property you are not the owner anymore and you lose all the rights associated with it (except in case of life maintenance contract).
Disposal of property in case of death is possible only by making a will.
2 - Can I retain some rights associated with the assets I give away? Can I reserve a right of reclaim?
Generally after disposal of property a person loses all the rights associated with it. But there are some exceptions. For example, in case of life maintenance contract a person who transferred his property has a right to live and use it, also a new owner can't dispose of property without his prior consent (until the previous owner is alive).
If a person has disposed of property then it is impossible to reclaim it; unless the deal were invalid or abrogated. However there are some exceptions when property could be reclaimed by the ex-owner. For example, according to the Civil Code parties may include such a provision in the gift contract that in case of death of the donee before the donator this contract may be abolished.
3 - How can I make sure my children are treated equally?
You may dispose of your property while you are still alive as you see fit, in particular dispose of property among your children, prefer one of them or transfer property to a third party.
There is the same situation with a will. You may bequeath property to all your children in equal or unequal shares, deprive of inheritance one of the children or all of them. But if at the time of death you have heirs of compulsory share (for example, minor or disabled children, disabled spouse or parents) despite of the will made not to their own advantage they are not obliged but may inherit the compulsory share.
If a person dies intestate his first degree heirs (children, spouse, parents) inherit property in equal shares.
4 - Can I help one of my children without this reducing his/her share in the inheritance?
While you are alive you may dispose of property as you see fit. You also may make a will and bequeath your assets to any heirs and define their shares at your discretion. If you transfer your property or a part of it to one of your children during your lifetime that doesn't mean that his share in inheritance becomes lesser, unless you change his share by will. If you dies intestate all your property will be divided among your first degree heirs (children, spouse, parents) in equal shares.
5 - Can I influence the effects of the donation on the succession?
The property transferred during your lifetime is not a part of inheritance. Disposal of property in case of death is possible only by making a will. You may make a will as you see fit.
6 - Can I give my assets directly to my grandchildren?
Yes, you may transfer property to your grandchildren during lifetime (for example, by making a transaction). You also may bequeath property to them.
7 - How can I protect my spouse or partner?
According to the Civil Code a spouse is the first degree heir, that means that a spouse inherits property in equal shares with the decedent's children and parents. Please note that marriage must be registered. You also may bequeath assets to your spouse or partner.
8 - Can my children renounce the inheritance in advance?
No, it is not possible to renounce the inheritance in advance.
1 - How do I draw up my will?
Only a fully capable person may make a will. A person shall make it personally. A will must be made in a written notarized form. Even if you make a holographic will you shall visit a notary and give him your will. A holographic will shall be written and signed by a testator personally and given to a notary in the presence of two witnesses.
Also according to the Russian law there are some cases when a will may be not in a notarized form. Generally that happens when a testator cannot visit a notary. For example, a will made in extraordinary circumstances. A person who is in a situation that clearly threatens his life and due to these extraordinary circumstances he doesn't have a possibility to make a notarized will he/she may make a will in a written form. In this case a testator shall in the presence of two witnesses write and sign the will personally. In addition when these extraordinary circumstances terminate a testator shall make a will in any form recognized by the Civil Code (notarized or equal notarized form).
2 - How can I be sure it will be applied?
After certifying a will a notary registers it in the Unified Informational Notary Data Base. Only Russian notaries have an access to the Data Base. The Data Base keeps and shows any alteration in a will and its abolition. After the testator's death a notary opens an inheritance case. A notary uses the Data Base for searching a will. If a decedent has made a will the Data Base informs a notary. Also a testator may appoint an executor of a will, who takes all the necessary measures for an execution a will.
3 - How can I find a will that has been filed with a notary?
After certifying a will a notary registers it in the Unified Informational Notary Data Base. Only Russian notaries have an access to the Data Base. The Data Base keeps and shows any alteration in a will and its abolition. Any information about the will is disclosed after the testator's death. The notary who opens the inheritance case informs the heirs about the will.
4 - Which law can I choose?
The person's capability to make a will or abolish it and also the form of such a will or its abolition act is defined by the law of the country where the testator had place of residence at the time of making a will or an act. However a will or an act are valid even despite of their inappropriate form if this form meets the requirements of the provisions of the Russian law or the law of the place where a will or act were made.
5 - Can I favour a particular heir (are there restrictions)?
You may bequeath property to one of your heirs or several of them; you may also deprive of inheritance one, several or all of your heirs. But please note that if at the time of death you have heirs of compulsory share (for example, minor or disabled children, disabled spouse or parents) they are not obliged but may inherit the compulsory share despite of the will made not to their own advantage.
6 - How can I favour my spouse or partner?
You may bequeath assets to him/her. But please note that if at the time of death you have heirs of compulsory share (for example, minor or disabled children, disabled spouse or parents) they are not obliged but may inherit the compulsory share despite of the will made not to their own advantage.
If a marriage is registered and there is no will your spouse is the first degree heir and he/she will inherit with children and parents property in equal shares.
If a marriage is not registered you have to make a will if you want your partner to inherit your property.
7 - Can I disinherit someone?
Yes, you may deprive of inheritance one, several or all of your heirs. But please note that if at the time of death you have heirs of compulsory share (for example, minor or disabled children, disabled spouse or parents) they are not obliged but may inherit the compulsory share despite of the will made not to their own advantage.
8 - Can I make my last will jointly with someone else?
No, a will shall contain dispositions of only one person.
1 - How are intestate successions regulated by law?
Intestate succession is regulated by the Civil Code. According to the Civil Code there are 8 degrees of inheritance. The heirs of each next degree inherit if there are no heirs of the previous degree. The heirs of the same degree inherit assets in equal shares. The first degree heirs are children, spouse and parents. If decedent's children have died before the decedent and they haven't been deprived of the inheritance their children (decedent's grandchildren) also may inherit the assets. The share of a decedent's child is divided among his/her children equally. The next inheritance degree is defined by the degree of kinship with the decedent.
If there are no heirs of all 8 degrees then the property is deemed to be escheat and the state inherits it. It is prohibited to refuse from escheated property.
2 - Are there particular regulations for specific objects?
There are some articles regulating the inheritance of specific objects in the Civil Code. For example, inheritance of enterprise, property of a farmer, objects limited in alienability (for example, weapon), land plot, public rewards etc. A notary who arranges an inheritance case informs you about the procedure of inheritance such objects.
3 - How can I find out if the succession procedures have already been initiated?
Notaries register information about open inheritance cases in the Unified Informational Notary Data Base. Only Russian notaries have an access to the Data Base. When you contact a notary he/she informs you whether the inheritance case has been already opened and what notary has opened it. A notary may also inform the heirs by posting an announcement in mass media.
4 - How can the heirs to the deceased be identified?
It depends on the reasons of the inheritance. If a person dies intestate the heirs shall provide to a notary with documents proving their kinship with the decedent (for example, Birth certificate, Marriage certificate etc.). If there is a will a notary checks this will and also whether it has been altered or abolished.
5 - How can I prove that I am the heir?
You shall provide to a notary with relevant documents, for example, documents proving your kinship with the decedent (Birth certificate, Marriage certificate etc.); or the will where you are indicated as an heir. In any case a notary always informs you about the documents that you have to show him.
6 - Are there priority heirs? Is there a reserved portion for certain people?
If there is no will there are no such priority heirs. The only one exception is a disabled person (disabled, or retired, or minor) who has been dependent from the decedent not less than one year before his death. He/she could be one of the 7 degrees heirs. In his case it is not important whether this heir resided with the decedent or not. Such an heir inherits jointly with the other heirs.
If a disabled person (disabled, or retired, or minor) who is not one of the 7 degrees heirs has been dependent from the decedent not less than one year before his death and resided together with the decedent such a person also may inherit. This heir inherits jointly with the other heirs. If there are no other heirs such disabled heir inherits as an heir of the 8th degree.
If you make a will you also may have heirs of compulsory share (for example, minor or disabled children, disabled spouse or parents). If at the time of death you have such heirs they may inherit even if the will was made not to their own advantage.
7 - Do I inherit the debts?
Yes, you inherit. The inherited property includes all the property that the decedent owned at the time of death, including his debts. The inherited property doesn't include, for example, rights and obligations inseparable from the decedent like the right to alimony.
8 - What happens when there are minor children among the heirs?
Children including minor children are the 1st degree heirs. They inherit jointly with the other 1st degree heirs (spouse and parents). Minor children are the heirs of compulsory share. If at the time of death you have heirs of compulsory share they may inherit the compulsory share despite of the will made not to their own advantage. Minor children may refuse from the inheriting the compulsory share. But in this case their guardians will need permission from the guardianship bodies.
9 - Can the surviving spouse inherit?
If a marriage is registered a spouse is the first degree heir and he/she inherits property in equal shares with the decedent's children and parents.
If a will made not to the surviving spouse advantage and he/she is disabled or retired at the time of his/her spouse death then he/she is an heir of the compulsory share. Such surviving spouse may inherit the compulsory share. Spouse also may refuse from the inheriting this share.
10 - How are the inventory and evaluation of the deceased’s assets carried out?
A notary may carry out the inventory of the deceased's assets in the presence of two witnesses for the purpose of preserving it.
The evaluation of the deceased’s assets depend on type of the assets. The evaluation may be carried out by the professional evaluator, the special cadastral bodies and other organizations. For the detailed information please contact a notary.
11 - What are my obligations if I accept an inheritance?
If an heir accepts an inheritance he/she shall pay all the expenses connecting with the execution of the inheritance (for example, notary fee for the issuing the Certificate of inheritance etc), pay the decedent's debts within the limits of the value of the assets he/she inherits (if a decedent had debts). Also a new owner has to pay all the necessary expenses concerning property maintenance (utilities, taxes etc.).
12 - Is it possible to renounce an inheritance or accept it under benefit of inventory?
An heir may accept or renounce an inheritance during six months after decedent's death. If an heir misses this term due to a good reason court may restore this term.
Persons whose right of inheritance occurs only due to an heir's non-acceptance of inheritance may accept an inheritance within three months after the expiry of six months after the decedent's death.
An heir is liable for the testator's debts within the limits of the value of the inheritance he/she accepts.
13 - How do we administer and divide up the assets if there is more than one heir?
If there are some heirs then heirs inherit the property in equal shares. A testator also may change the shares by making a will.
For the purpose of safeguarding the rights of heirs, beneficiaries and other persons concerned the notary or the executor of a will takes the necessary measures for preservation and administration of the inheritance. The executor of the will takes these measures independently or by the heir's request.
If the inheritance property includes assets which need to be managed (for example, business company, securities, exclusive rights etc.) a notary sets up an asset management. If there is an executor of a will then he/she sets up an asset management.
Paying inheritance tax
1 - How are succession duties calculated?
The Russian legislation doesn't provide any inheritance taxes.
2 - What is the tax rate for succession duties/ Does tax regulation provide for a tax-free threshold? for the children? for the spouse? for someone not directly related to the deceased? other?
The Russian legislation doesn't provide any inheritance taxes. The heirs pay only notary fees. They pay it directly to a notary. These fees depend on the type of inheritance objects and kinship degree. For detailed information consult a notary.
3 - When is the tax due?
The Russian legislation doesn't provide any inheritance taxes.