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A general question about inheritence and will - (no debts) - properties in Poland and England

Josie 1 | 3
21 Feb 2016 #1
My father is currently resident in Poland with a Polish wife . He has a number of properties in Poland and one here in England.
If he dies without making a will what happens to his assets? as well as a wife he has a grown up step son and four natural children in the UK.

Also if he makes a will in the UK, is this valid in Poland?
This is a delicate subject as he is in ill health and I want to have some facts before speaking to him.
Many thanks
kpc21 1 | 763
21 Feb 2016 #2
The inheritance law is very complex.

Here you can find all this in a nutshell, but in Polish:

As far as I understand that, all what he has had, when he dies, is divided into equal pieces and shared between HIS children (so not the child that his wife has with someone else) and his wife equally - but his wife has to get at least 1/4 of that.

But I have no idea, whether Polish, or British law is applied here, if they are living in the UK.

This is when he leaves no will. When there is a will, the situation is even more complex, because when one of the child is neglected there, he/she still has right to get some part of the possesion of the father.
Zazulka 3 | 129
21 Feb 2016 #3
When he dies without leaving a will, half of his wealth goes to his wife (common property), and the remaining half is divided equally among his children and his wife.

I am speaking from experience.
InPolska 11 | 1,821
21 Feb 2016 #4
Yes, true, Zazulka! Unfortunately I have been there (as a widow) and yes, in Poland 1/2 for widow/er and 1/2 for other heirs combined. I suppose it's this way in at least European style countries. Of course, father's stepson (i.e. another man's son) has no rights. In addition, with 4 natural kids in UK + some property also in UK whereas the couple lives in Poland, it is not going to be very easy so BEST to write wills and whatever needed documents NOW. I got "lucky" that there were only 2 heirs and all was clear (although my husband's ex managed to take some 80,0000 zl from inheritance (although divorced some 23 years before ;)) but unfortunately as a foreigner, I have NO chance in a Polish court against a Polish citizen so altough I am most pi...ssed and most unhappy about it, I have to "pack it up") but in the OP's situation, it is obvious that some sh###t is to be expected especially if (a lot of) money is involved so father needs to get everything in order asap both in Poland and also in UK (4 kids there and on top of that not legitimate so Polish current wife could use in her favor as per Polish law + property).

Facing spouse's or close parent's death is far from "easy" so best not to have also to fight for one's share of inheritance.

@OP: Ask your father to contact lawyers both in Poland and in UK and to write documents asap!
Pol attorney 2 | 106
21 Feb 2016 #5
If there is no will, your father's wife will get 1/4 of the inheritance/estate and natural and adopted children of your father will obtain the rest (3/4 of the estate which is divided into equal parts among all children) -- this rule pertains only to your father's private property.

Only the Polish Court will have jurisdiction over all the properties situated in Poland.

However, it is necessary to prepare a detailed legal opinion on this situation before taking any legal steps in Poland and in the UK.
InPolska 11 | 1,821
21 Feb 2016 #6
@Pol Attorney: Since no will, I received 1/2 from my husband's inheritance and my situation was nothing special. Besides, a widow/er should not receive less than 1/2 as most often death of spouse also means financial hardship for survivor
Pol attorney 2 | 106
21 Feb 2016 #7
In Polska: i don't know your specific situation...different scenarios are possible here.
InPolska 11 | 1,821
21 Feb 2016 #8
Can it be more than ... 1/2? ;). However, I am pretty sure that EX husbands/wives are not allowed to dig in inheritance ;)
OP Josie 1 | 3
21 Feb 2016 #9
Thank you "inpolska" . In normal circumstances I would agree with you ie. wife receives 50% but is this fair if the marriage is not that long ago? I would not wish my step mother to suffer financial hardship but also do not want her to have everything that my father worked for, especially whilst married to my mother.
Pol attorney 2 | 106
21 Feb 2016 #10
in Polska: It can be even 100% in some situations if a spouse didn't have children, siblings and if his parents passed away before his death. article 935 (1) of the Polish civil code.
InPolska 11 | 1,821
21 Feb 2016 #11
@Pol Attorney: for sure, if widow/er is alone, it is normal that he/she receives 100% but I meant in cases when there ARE other heirs ;)

@Josie: 100% with you! Please ask your dad to do all paperwork to avoid problems later on! My husband meant to write a will in my favor but unfortunately passed away before and as a result I have to split all 50-50% with his son (who is loaded and that's why his father wanted me to have everything) and I even have to fight against greedy ex ;). It has been a nightmare for me to fight for years against that mafia so please make sure your dad protects everybody (including of course his current wife)! You know, nobody needs such conflicts!
OP Josie 1 | 3
21 Feb 2016 #12
thank you pol attorney.
please can you clarify what you mean by "this rule pertains only to your father's private property"
also can you email regarding your fees etc to look into this in more detail.

In polska,
thank you
Omg if only I could get my Dad to write a will in Poland. I'm not sure if he does not want to write one for fear of offending current wife. My Mum won't be trying to get anything.

Why oh why won't people just bite the bullet and make their wishes known. we are not immortal and most of us don't know the date of our demise in advance.

If he wrote a will, I would rather be ****** off now than have nightmare to sort out when he has gone.
InPolska 11 | 1,821
21 Feb 2016 #13
@Josie: believe me, it is necessary! Also if need to fight in a Polish court, you guys as foreigners will lose, no doubt about that. If you don't want current wife to get more than her legal share, do protect your family! Maybe you can get informed re British law!
OP Josie 1 | 3
21 Feb 2016 #14

am I a foreigner if grandparents were Polish and Dad born outside Poland because of WW2 ? or do you think the authorities will cut me some slack?
Pol attorney 2 | 106
21 Feb 2016 #15
@ Josie: I have sent you a private message on this forum with my email address, but I don't know if you have received it. Pls let me know.

It is necessary to look at some more details here.

It's not true that if you are a foreign company or a foreigner, you will not win in a Polish court. Every case is different, and the details matter the most.
21 Feb 2016 #16
Josie " am I a foreigner if grandparents were Polish and Dad born outside Poland because of WW2 ? or do you think the authorities will cut me some slack?"

I appears you mat be a polish Citizen by decent.
InPolska 11 | 1,821
21 Feb 2016 #17
@Pol attorney: in theory, yes but in reality? ;)
Pol attorney 2 | 106
21 Feb 2016 #18
"this rule pertains only to your father's private property"

If there is common property between 2 spouses, normally (although there are exceptions) 50% of the inheritance is private property of the spouse -- so only 50% of the inheritance will be split among children and your dad's current wife.
polishinvestor 1 | 362
21 Feb 2016 #19
My dad was also born outside of Poland during the war. What matters is that both his parents were Polish, with Polish papers. If just one parent, its not something Ive had to consider.

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