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Polish transfer of Family Estate in Will?


sadieann 2 | 205  
22 Jun 2009 /  #1
Yesterday, was Father's Day! We called Tata in Poland to wish him a special day and tell him how much we love him. Blind sighted: he conveyed that he was meeting with an attorney today to leave us the family home and has excluded his brother ( he was given property when first married). He wanted my husband to get off the phone and tell me right away. My husband and I had tears in our hearts. Question: Legally we want to ensure that it is air tight, so no problems later. Recently, I dealt with the loss of my grandfather and almost my mother. It is the most unpleasant thing to deal with. I can only think of my loss and other's only care about $$$ (truly wished I had gone to Poland for a reprieve). When anything monetarily is involved the claws come out. In the US, A Power of Attorney is named in the will and an Estate Attorney carries out all distribution and legalities. My question is this: What are the proceedings in Poland. I never want to go through what I have with my family again. How do I inquire and pay to have all the legal work and personal wishes of my Tata honored?
plk123 8 | 4,150  
22 Jun 2009 /  #2
the will can be challenged there just like in the US.. there is really no way to 100% proofing it.
OP sadieann 2 | 205  
22 Jun 2009 /  #3
plk123

the will can be challenged there just like in the US.. there is really no way to 100% proofing it.

True, but my grandfather bullet proofed his will. It was impossible to challenge. Trust me, some tried. He hired the best of the best. Somehow, no one was able to go further with challenging the will. It was settled in 5 months, suppose to take 3..
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448  
24 Jul 2009 /  #4
Dunno if this is true or only urban legend, but it is said that in the US if the estate-leaver wills at least $1 to the one he wants excluded, then the will cannot be contested. That means he did not overlook anyone through senility or whatever, but clearly did not want him to get a slice of the pie.
terri 1 | 1,665  
24 Jul 2009 /  #5
sadieann-
you may have poblems with making sure that the will is watertight. Best to seek out the services of a Polish lawyer. Remember that you may have to pay tax on any inheritance and that's just for starters. Generally, wills can be contested, but the excluded party has to convince the court of their claim.
inkrakow  
24 Jul 2009 /  #6
There are now no taxes to pay in Poland on inheritance by the closest family.

Polish inheritance law follows a Napoleonic legal system (not sure if that's the right word) so anyone who is excluded or gets less than an even share in a will can demand that the remainder of the inheritors pay compensation of 50% of what he/she didn't get - it's called "zachówek". Before the assets can be transferred, the court has to make sure that everyone who is a possible inheritor is informed and has had a chance to apply for (or not) their zachówek. In my family's case this caused no end of problems as we're scattered all over the world. From what I was told by our lawyer, there's no way round this, no matter how the will is worded, but most people accept the will and give up their right to a zachówek.
OP sadieann 2 | 205  
24 Jul 2009 /  #7
so anyone who is excluded or gets less than an even share in a will can demand that the remainder of the inheritors pay compensation of 50% of what he/she didn't get - it's called "zachówek".

Next question: Does it count that his brother received a home already while he was still alive? He has documented to attorney that my husband still lives there? We want to keep the family home and not sell it. His brother on the other hand, will only care about selling it and the money. We told Tata we don't want to deal with it one way or the other after he's gone. We would prefer to know now. His brother is so disrespectful and could care less about his father. My grandfather started distributing who he wanted to have real estate and investments while he was alive. I told my husband that maybe we should have him give/by it now to avoid problems later.
inkrakow  
24 Jul 2009 /  #8
Sorry - I'm not a lawyer and it sounds like you need to consult one about this!
OP sadieann 2 | 205  
24 Jul 2009 /  #9
Thank you, I think your right.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448  
1 Aug 2009 /  #10
I'm no lawyer but I heard recently that under Polish law if the will writer justifies bypassing an expectant heir by specifying his/her neglect, long periods of no contact, hostility, etc. that could make the disinheritance air-tight.

Anyone know anything about this?
Myszolow 3 | 157  
11 Aug 2009 /  #11
I told my husband that maybe we should have him give/by it now to avoid problems later.

Now that is a watertight way to do it. You will have to pay some sort of transfer tax/stamp duty though. (We did, although it was about 8 years ago - things may have changed).

If it's dealt with now you won't have to go through probate either. In fact, it's probably the best all-round solution as long as he trusts you. :)
Harry  
11 Aug 2009 /  #12
I told my husband that maybe we should have him give/by it now to avoid problems later.

Yes you should. I just checked with a very good (Polish) real estate lawyer and the advice is that a gift of property before the death of the giftor can not be challenged after their death by any of the necessary heirs.

You will have to pay some sort of transfer tax/stamp duty though. (We did, although it was about 8 years ago - things may have changed).

According to what I was told by a Polish tax advisor (i.e. tax lawyer) there is currently no tax on property gifts made to immediate family, but the recipient must register the gift with the tax office within six months of receiving it.
Myszolow 3 | 157  
11 Aug 2009 /  #13
According to what I was told by a Polish tax advisor (i.e. tax lawyer) there is currently no tax on property gifts made to immediate family, but the recipient must register the gift with the tax office within six months of receiving it.

That's excellent news for the OP. We wanted to spend money developing the "family home", which I was unwilling to do if I would then have to pay inheritance tax on it. So we had the parents gift it to us several years ago (although it ended up being their suggestion, so that worked out best).

We also got dad to get rid of his Maluch a few months (sold for 100zl) before he died, so we had no probate to deal with at all. :)
OP sadieann 2 | 205  
12 Aug 2009 /  #14
Yes you should. I just checked with a very good (Polish) real estate lawyer and the advice is that a gift of property before the death of the giftor can not be challenged after their death by any of the necessary heirs.

Thank you. This is definately what I want to be done. Tata set it up a will in June. I would prefer to take care of Estate transfer now. Past experience, nightmare later. Now, a new roof and maintenance needs to be taken care of. If I will be paying into the home, other options need to be secured.

That's excellent news for the OP. We wanted to spend money developing the "family home", which I was unwilling to do if I would then have to pay inheritance tax on it. So we had the parents gift it to us several years ago (although it ended up being their suggestion, so that worked out best).

Thanks, your situation is very similiar to mine now. It appears we will be having work done on the 'family home'. Quotes are being sought. We trust and love each other. That would delete the inheritance tax..

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