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Polish inheritance - court ruling and delay - the only child

klobaka21 1 | 4
2 Jul 2017 #1
My dad died almost 5 years ago and left no will and no spouse. I am my dad's only child. I've been to court and the court ruled I'm entitled to 75% and my dad's wife's family is entitled to 25%. My dad's wife died earlier than my dad...

First question: should I be entitled to 100% since I am my dad's only child? Should I re-open the case?

Second question: the court ruling happened almost 2 years ago now and I still haven't received my inheritance as the other side is delaying. They keep saying they don't have all the documents and the banks/estate agents cant do anything until they receive these documents. The value of the property is decreasing (as it is becoming neglected). I have submitted everything I need to and I keep waiting for them - how can I pressure them to act? Should I re-open a case / threaten with legal proceedings?

Please help!
terri 1 | 1,663
2 Jul 2017 #2
The courts ruling is correct as to the percentage of the inheritance. There is no point in contesting it. If the wife had lived, she would be entitled to her share and now her descendants have a right to her share.

You cannot threaten anyone with legal proceedings as the case is in the court's hands. There may also be a question of tax due on the property if you have not owned it for more than five years before selling it. Research thoroughly whether you will have to pay any tax. This is totally separate from any inheritance tax, which you may not have to pay. Make sure that you have good valuations from a few estate agents before the sale of the property.

Make sure that YOU have provided to the right person/authority all the documents they have asked for.You can then write to them politely asking why there is a delay. The courts maybe asking for documents that your family has to provide - so enquire as to which documents are lacking before the matter can go ahead.
OP klobaka21 1 | 4
2 Jul 2017 #3
Thank you Terri - so does that mean that the other side (i.e. the deceased wife's family) can take forever to get their documents? I wonder if there is a deadline by which they need to submit these documents so that we can go ahead with the inheritance. There is 1 of me and about 16 people on the other side - I feel like I have been waiting too long for them and I don't know if I have any legal rights to avoid having to wait forever (I fear they may never have the documents required.... and I am losing out as a result)
terri 1 | 1,663
3 Jul 2017 #4
I do not believe (but check on relevant websites) that there is a time limit by which interested parties need to submit documents for the division of the estate. It seems likely that family members maybe having trouble with finding the right documents to prove their claim. Also the Court must be certain that those named are all those who could ever submit a claim on the estate.

Another way to proceed is to find a good solicitor who may write to them to ask what is going on. But remember, he will have to write to everyone concerned and this will take time and money. Could you not contact a representative of the family and ask what is going on. It may be that if you divide a 25% share by 16 people, they are in no hurry to proceed, as they will not receive a large sum after any sale. .
Dirk diggler 10 | 4,602
3 Jul 2017 #5

Oh ur gonna have to go to poland hire lawyers do all that... This isn't a simple case...

Is the inheritance were discussing a piece of property ?
terri 1 | 1,663
4 Jul 2017 #6
I came across a Polish website which confirms that where there is no will a 'spouse' is entitled to 25% share. There was also a stipulation that it is only within the first 6 months that anyone 'entitled' can refuse to accept their share of an inheritance, so that they are not liable for any debts (if there are any). They have to notify the court of that.

It could be that the 16 family members are waiting for the 5 year cut-off so that they will not pay tax on the property.
I'm afraid there is almost nothing that you can do, except perhaps write to someone questioning the delay.
Dirk diggler 10 | 4,602
4 Jul 2017 #7

Property taxes are peanuts in poland. The lady could even offer to pay the taxes for the other party to speed up the process.

Unfortunately in poland, money speeds up and resolves almost any bureaucratic legal process like this.
terri 1 | 1,663
4 Jul 2017 #8
I was not talking about property taxes - and I DO know how much they are as I have a property myself. What I was talking about is the 20% tax due on the resale price of a property if you have not owned it for the last 5 years.This is a substantial sum.
Dirk diggler 10 | 4,602
4 Jul 2017 #9
Ah my apologies I didn't know there would be such a tax. I have property too in poland and all I've ever paid is the low property taxes. I guess in the op case itd be different if she's inherited it but hasn't been on the paperwork formally.
OP klobaka21 1 | 4
4 Jul 2017 #10
Thank you for your help - I have been in touch with a representative of the family and they aren't very clear as to what is causing the delay. I dont plan to dispute the court's ruling as it is fair but, as you can understand, I have an interest in the inheritance and their delay is causing me frustration. I am also spending money on maintaining the property. A solicitor would also cost a lot. We are talking about inheriting a property and also savings....
delphiandomine 88 | 18,177
4 Jul 2017 #11
We are talking about inheriting a property and also savings....

Basically, in this case, it's up to the court to use common sense. You need a lawyer to push them in that direction, but the money for the maintenance of the property will come out of the settlement before it's distributed by the court.

What you're seeing here is the classic zawiść. They want more than they're getting, so they're willing to delay it for a long time to make sure that you get as little as possible, even if they lose themselves. It's very, very normal in these situations with Poles.
OP klobaka21 1 | 4
4 Jul 2017 #12
So far the court has just ruled allocation of inheritance so 75% for me and 25% for the deceased wife's family. The wife's family is delaying - is the only option for me to get a lawyer to speed them up? I've tried communicating with them but this has not helped at all as they keep giving excuses. There are also more of them (about 10 family members) and only 1 of me. A lawyer would cost a lot and I worry I will spend more on the lawyer than what I will inherit. Are there any free polish legal services? The amount I could inherit is substantial but with a lawyer, this will diminish hugely.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,177
4 Jul 2017 #13
I've sent you a PM - it'll be better to discuss specifics there than on an open forum.
Dirk diggler 10 | 4,602
4 Jul 2017 #14
@klobaka21a lawyer isn't too expensive in poland just tell him u want him on a flat fee/ retainer. Do not let him charge by the hour orbhell rip u off.
Dirk diggler 10 | 4,602
4 Jul 2017 #15
I had a huge issue with a property in poland too and the lawyer charged me something like 2k usd for the entire case start to finish. It was different than yours but just as complicated if not more so because I had to track a few people down. The private detective I also hired actually cost a bit more but his credentials and ties with police made it well worth it.
OP klobaka21 1 | 4
7 Jul 2017 #16
Thank you Dirk diggler - I have sent you a PM

I think my only choice is to hire a lawyer then to speed the other side up otherwise it is very unfair. Does anyone have any recommended Polish lawyers who charge a flat fee? I know that English lawyers are very expensive!
Dirk diggler 10 | 4,602
7 Jul 2017 #17

Do you speak polish at all or only English? You may find an English speaker lawyer especially a younger guy. Lawyers are far less expensive than in us so don't get too concerned. It is unlikely this will cost you more than a few grand to resolve. If you have any questions feel free to pm. I can recommend a lawyer or give u the info of mine but he only works in wroclaw
Lyzko 45 | 9,274
7 Jul 2017 #18
Someone who recently graduated from the University of Poznan, claims that her city may have a higher percentage of English-speakers than almost any other Polish city. Probably wouldn't be all too tough to find an English-speaking lawyer to handle a basic matter for you.

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