Return PolishForums LIVE
  PolishForums Archive :
Archives - 2005-2009 / Genealogy  % width 8

finding a copy of a Polish will - SKORZEWO, KARTUSKI region

beemox 1 | 3  
1 Sep 2008 /  #1
Hello everybody , my dad was a taken away by the Germans in ww2 and used as forced labour at the age of 16. since the war he has lived in england , but has recently found out that he has an interest in the family farm in the SKORZEWO, KARTUSKI region . Some distant relatives of dads have written to him and asked him to sign over his share of the farm to them . they sent some legal documents that where incomplete, so we don,t know what exactly he is being asked to sign over . The farm is allegedly still registered in his grand mothers name , but was will,d to to my dad and his brothers. My dad has not claimed his share thus far as he only recently got to know about it and his brothers are all deceased.Unfortunately neither myself or my mother speak Polish and can,t help him . He gets upset by the letters from Poland but is too tired to do anything about it . It seems that we need to find a copy of his grandmothers will , and the land registry documents , but we don,t know where to start. Any help or advice appreciated
1 Sep 2008 /  #2
to get a lawyer and maybe a trip to Poland will be necessary...
OP beemox 1 | 3  
2 Sep 2008 /  #3
yes Polishgirltx, that seems to be the obvious answer , but can anybody recommend a Polish speaking solicitor that is based in the north of the uk ?
2 Sep 2008 /  #4
Get in touch with your nearest large Polish speaking community - there are bound to be Polish lawyers there who service the Polish business owners. Also, from what I can see, Skorzewo is quite near Gdansk where there will definitely be English-speaking Polish lawyers due to recent property boom. Maybe some other forum members can recommend someone local & trustworthy to look into things for you.

My family has just been through a similar situation so what I know is that... Wills aren't registered in Poland like they are in the UK, so unless your family members actually give you a copy, you can't get it any other way. You can get a copy of the land registry documents from the local Polish court but ideally you need to know the land registry number of the farm (it's a bit more work if you don't know it). If the farm is still in your grandmothers name it sounds like her will wasn't executed so you have a long process ahead of you. At some point you'll need to instruct a licensed Polish solicitor to act on your behalf and represent you in a Polish court. Good luck!
OP beemox 1 | 3  
2 Sep 2008 /  #5
Thanks for your thoughts inkrakow, attemts to aquire a copy of the will thus far has proven fruitless. and it would appear that if the case is , in Poland wills have appointed executors, - sombody has been slightly negelegent in carrying out their duty.. It seems that aqquiring a copy of the will is the pivotal point around success or failure revolves.
3 Sep 2008 /  #6
AFAIK they don't have appointed executors here - anyone can go to the court and request for the deceased's estate to be divided up between the next of kin but it's not mandatory (e.g. our house was registered in our grandparents' name for 30 years before we got round to going through this). If the next of kin can show a will, that gets taken into account, but if not, the court gives everyone the same share of the estate. You then take the court judgement to the land registry and they write in the new owners and you divide up all the other possessions between you.

Unfortunately, it's not recorded anywhere (except for tax records which are almost impossible to get hold of) exactly what the deceased's estate consisted of, unlike the UK.

There's also a weird Napoleonic legal clause in that if you are left out of a will but you are one of the next of kin, you can demand cash compensation from the others ('zachowek'). It's not uncommon for people waive their right to this but in any case the court has to be certain that they have been informed that this process is going on (notification is sent by registered post) and they've been given the appropriate time to reply, before it can proceed.

Like I said, good luck with this!
OP beemox 1 | 3  
3 Sep 2008 /  #7
Interesting experience you have had in Krakow. i have certainly got a better insight to the goings on of the Polish system thanks to you .
rdywenur 1 | 157  
12 Sep 2008 /  #8
I would find a Polish church in UK and they should be able to help you in the directions you need to take etc. I would contact a lawyer from Poland and not UK that does this. Probably a trip to Poland would be best or someone that tryuly knows what the procedures are for Poland laws. Good Luck. (I just recently wrote for a copy of my ex's will but that was here in the states and I wrote to the probate courts where he lived and where it was filed. Here once a will is filed it is public information otherwise you must be related)

Archives - 2005-2009 / Genealogy / finding a copy of a Polish will - SKORZEWO, KARTUSKI regionArchived