Successions in Serbia
1 - How can I pass on my assets while I am still alive?
2 - Can I retain some rights associated with the assets I give away? Can I reserve a right of reclaim?
3 - How can I make sure my children are treated equally?
The first inheritance order, according to the Inheritance Law of the Republic of Serbia, includes the spouse and descendants of the testator, so that the children are in equal position in relation to the estate of the testator, regardless of whether it is a marital, extra-marital or adopted child of the testator (adoptees from complete adoption). The court, i.e. the notary public entrusted with the execution of the inheritance proceeding, determines the round of legal heirs on the basis of statements issued by the heirs, and shall in particular indicate to them that they are issuing their statements under full criminal and material liability, and that the possible concealment of legal heirs constitutes a criminal act of giving false testimony that is prosecuted ex officio, so that the court, i.e.
the public notary is the one who takes care that all heirs that belong to the round of legal heirs are mutually in an equal standing.
Here we have a deviation in the situation where there is a testator’s child, when the spouse is not a parent, and the spouse's property is greater than that which would belong to him/her when dividing the estate into equal parts, then each testator’s child can inherit up to two times more than the spouse, if the court, having considered all circumstances, finds this to be justified.
4 - Can I help one of my children without this reducing his /her share in the inheritance?
5 - Can I influence the effects of the donation on the succession?
6 - Can I give my assets directly to my grand children? How can I protect my spouse or partner?
7 - Can my children renounce the inheritance in advance?
1 - How do I draw up my will?
2 - How can I be sure it will be applied?
3 - How can I find a will that has been filed with a notary?
4 - Which law can I choose?
5 - How can I prove that I am the heir?
According to the Inheritance Law – under Article 206 and Article 236, following the demise of a person, his or her estate shall be opened. The announcement of death of a person has the same effect and applicable is the law that was in
force at the time of the testator’s death. Therefore, according to the law, the estate is opened ex officio. However, in practice this does not happen, which is why it is necessary to file with the court a petition for the initiation of probate proceedings by submitting proof of kinship with the testator – i.e. extracts from the birth register and proof of assets
6 - Can I disinherit someone?
7 - Can I make my last will jointly with someone else
The provisions of Article 78 of the Law on Inheritance of the Republic of Serbia stipulate that the last will and testament is a one-sided, personal and always revocable statement of will of a person capable to do so, by which it is distributing its property in case of death, in a legally-defined form.
1 - How are intestate successions regulated by law?
2 - Are there particular regulations for specific objects?
There are no special regulations for certain facilities, but when it comes to real estate, the provision of Article 71 of the Law on the Resolution of Conflicts of the Law with the Regulations of Other Countries ("Official Gazette of SFRY", No. 43/82 and 72/82 – corr., "Official Gazette of FRY", No. 46/96 and "Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia", No. 46/2006 – other law) (which is now accordingly applicable in the Republic of Serbia) stipulates that for the hearing of the estates consisting of real estate of Yugoslav citizens (currently citizens of the Republic of Serbia), if the real estate is located in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (now Republic of Serbia), the exclusive jurisdiction lies with the court of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (now the court of the Republic of Serbia). If the estate of a Yugoslav citizen in the form of real estate is located abroad, the jurisdiction of the court of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia exists only if, according to the laws of the state in which the real estate is located, its authority is not competent. When it comes to movable property, the jurisdiction of the court of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to hear the estate consisting of movable property of a Yugoslav citizen exists if the moveable property is located on the territory of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia or if, under the law of the state in which the moveable property is located, the foreign authority is not competent, or if such authority refuses to hear the estate.
3 - How can I find out the succession procedures have already been initiated?
4 - Are the priority heirs? Is there a reserved portion for certain people?
5 - Do I inherit the debts?
6 - What happens when there are minor children among the heirs?
When a juvenile participates in the proceedings, the interests of the minor are represented by the legal representative of that minor, whereby the court or public notary who is entrusted with the implementation of the probationary proceeding, in a situation where it finds justified (for example, if a legal representative on behalf of the minor gives a negative inheritance declaration or if he/she wants to reach an agreement with the other heirs on the division of the estate of the testator, as well as in a situation in which the court or the public notary finds out that the legal representative is undertaking actions that are not in the minor's interest) the court, i.e. the public notary, shall notify the Centre for
Social Work on the initiation of the procedure, to invite it to attend the hearings, request a written consent thereof (in connection with the statement of the legal representative of the minor), shall deliver to it the submissions of the participants and decisions against which the legal remedy is allowed, and possibly request it to appoint an interim guardian for the minor. Also, the court issues ex officio a decision on the inventory and assessment of the estate of the testator, inter alia, when the heirs are persons who, due to their minority, mental illness or other circumstances, are unable to take care of their affairs by themselves.
7 - Can the surviving spouse inherit?
8 - How are the inventory and evaluation of the deceased’s assets carried out?
9 - What are my obligations if I accept an inheritance?
10 - Is it possible to renounce an inheritance or accept it under benefit of inventory?
11 - How do we administer and divide up the assets if there is more than one heir?
The provisions from Article 8 to Article 77 regulate the intestate inheritance. Only someone who was alive at the moment of the testator's death can inherit, but a child who was already incepted at the moment of the testator's death can also inherit, if it is born alive. It is inherited by inheritance orders, whereby the heirs of the nearer inheritance order are excluding from inheritance the heirs of the further inheritance order.
The first inheritance order is composed of testator’s descendants and his/her spouse, and they inherit in equal parts.
The second inheritance consists of the testator’s spouse and the testator's parents and their offspring, whereby the testator’s spouse inherits half of the estate, and the other half of the estate is inherited by the testator's parents in equal parts. If the testator’s spouse cannot or won’t inherit, the estate is in equal parts inherited the testator’s parents, and if the testator's parent cannot or won’t inherit, his/her share will be inherited in equal party by his/her children (the siblings of the testator), his grandchildren and grand-grandchildren and his subsequent descendants, according to the rules applicable to the testator’s inheritance by his descendants. If the testator's parents do not have any offspring, and cannot or will not inherit, the spouse inherits the entire estate.
The third inheritance order consists of the testator’s grandfathers and grandmothers and their offspring, whereby the testator’s grandfather and grandmother on the father's side (father's lineage) shall inherit half of the estate, and the other half shall be inherited by the grandfather and grandmother from the mother's side (mother’s lineage). The grandfather and grandmother of the same lineage inherit in equal parts, but if one of these ancestors cannot or won’t inherit, his/her part shall be inherited by his children, his grandchildren and his subsequent descendants, according to the rules applicable when the testator is inherited by his descendants.
The fourth inheritance order is made of the testator’s grand-grandfather and grand-grandmother. The testator’s grand-grandfather and grand-grandmother from the father's side inherit at equal parts one half of the inheritance, and the other half in equal parts is inherited by the grand-grandfather and grand-grandmother from the mother's side. Following the testator’s grand-grandfather and grand-grandmother, the state shall be inherited by his farther ancestors, under the order, pursuant to the rules under which he was inherited by his grand-grandfathers and grand-grandmothers.
The Republic of Serbia inherits if the testator has no other legal heirs and it cannot renounce the inheritance.
Paying inheritance tax
1 - How are succession duties calculated?
The basis for the calculation of fee which belongs to the public notary (exceeding expenses) shall be the value of the estate which is determined on the basis of the assessment of the market value of assets and rights constituting the testator’s estate, reduced for the testator’s debts.
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?
By provisions of Article 18 and Article 19 of the Law on Property Taxes ("Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia", No. 26/2001, "Official Gazette of FRY", No. 42/2002 - decision of Federal Constitutional Court and "Official Gazette of RS" No. 80/2002, 80/2002 - other law, 135/2004, 61/2007, 5/2009, 101/2010, 24/2011, 78/2011, 57/2012 - decision of the Constitutional Court, 47/2013 and 68/2014 - other law) it is provided that the tax rates on inheritance and gift are proportional, and that the taxpayers who, in relation to the testator or to the donor, are in the second inheritance order according to the intestate inheritance order (hereinafter: inheritance order), are required to pay inheritance and gift tax at a rate of 1.5%, while taxpayers who, in relation to the testator or donor, are in the third and further inheritance orders, i.e. if the taxpayers are not related to the testator or donor, shall pay an inheritance and gift tax at a rate of 2.5%.
Whereby, the acquisition of property in probationary proceedings by the acceptance of the assigned inheritance share is considered to be a gift within the meaning of this law, and the tax on inheritance and gift is not paid by:
heirs of the first inheritance order, spouse and parent of the testator, i.e. gift recipient of the first inheritance order and the spouse of the donor;
heir, i.e. donor recipient, farmer of the second inheritance order who inherits, or receives as a gift property that serves for carrying out an agricultural activity, if he has lived with the testator or the donor continuously in the same household for at least one year prior to the death of the testator, i.e. prior to the receipt of the gift; heir, or gift recipient of the second inheritance order, on one inherited, i.e. received as gift apartment, if he or she has lived with the testator, i.e. donor, continuously in one common household at least one year prior to the death of the testator, i.e. prior to the receipt of the gift;
gift recipient – for the property that was awarded to him in the probationary proceedings, which he would have inherited as heir – on which the donor has renounced the inheritance;
foundation, on the property received as inheritance or gift, which serves exclusively for the achievement of the general common interest for which the foundation was established;
an endowment, i.e. association, established for the purpose of achieving a general common interest in the sense of the law regulating endowments, registered in accordance with the law - on inherited or received property received exclusively for the purposes of achievement of the general common interest for which the foundation was established;
heir, i.e. gift recipient of ambulance vehicles, special passenger vehicles for the training of candidates for drivers with built-in double foot controls, as well as passenger vehicles for cabs and "rent-a-car" which are specifically marked;
on the division of property jointly acquired by the spouses during the term of marriage, carried out between the former spouses, thus governing their matrimonial relations in connection with the divorce;
Republic of Serbia, autonomous province, or units of local self-government, as successor, or gift-recipient;