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Poland's Inheritance Law Without Will

6 Jan 2014 #1
Inheritance law in Poland - question

My uncle has been dead for more than 10 years and died with no spouse, no children and no will. My uncle had 4 siblings all of which died before he did. My father who was born in Poland came to Canada after WW2 and died more than 30 years ago.

What is the inheritance laws in Poland? My cousins in Poland contacted me recently and told me that if I wanted to make a claim of inheritance against the property I would have to submit documents to make to a claim against the property.

Am I entitled to a share of the property by virtue of the fact that I am the child of the deceased's brother and do all my cousins have a inherent claim to the to a share of the property or do we all have to make individual claims?

If we all have to make claims do I have to sign away or waive my rights in writing or is merely not making a claim sufficient?

I never was a citizen or a resident of Poland.
Dont gag me yo 7 | 156
2 Jul 2014 #2
Consult a lawyer and don't give away your rights take what you inherit
gask7 - | 50
2 Jul 2014 #3
Important questions:
1. the date of yours uncle death - there are different rules according to time of death.
2. value of yours uncle property - you need to know is it worth to do anything,
3. place where uncle have lived before he died - to find the proper law court,
4. are you sure, that there was not any verdict about the heritage.
If your uncle died in the year 2004 ( but not later than on 27 of June 2009 ) all children of your father have the right to the quarter of the heritage ( art. 934 polish civil code - walid in the year 2004 ) but one important exception - there are different rules according to farm land - art. 1059 pcc - but only if someone died before 13 of January 2001).

Your cousins needs yours certificate of birth ( and yours siblings if you have any ) and the certificate of your father's death, if they don't want to lie in the law court "your father never exists".

Can I ask one personal question ? Have you ever been to Poland ? and why or why not ?
gjene 14 | 204
3 Jul 2014 #4
You mention about the property in your first post. What is the size of the property and its location? If it is undeveloped property with city limits near industrial, it could be worth some money now if that town/city is growing and its looking for property to entice industry to them and therefore provide employment. In the post you make it sound like it is your babcia that is still alive. One thing is to find out if a video is just as acceptable to the courts as a written will. If the court system will accept the video, then you might want a lawyer present when it is done and you can ask questions like you would in a court to get your babcia to lay it on the line as to who gets what and how much in regards to the property.

Sounds like your ciocia is being greedy and wants to claim what might be your rightful inheritance for her side of the family. If your ciocia is desperate to try and have your mothers claim on the property then she would have to have the property evaluated and have it ascertained how much each portion is worth and have her tell your mother how much her portion is worth and buy her out.
26 Aug 2014 #5
Merged: Estate inheritance in Poland but I'm in the US

Sorry that this will probably be long but it's a little complicated. My father grew up on a farm owned by his parents. He had one sister who died as a baby, one younger brother and another sister. The farm was in his brother's name. His brother died suddenly around 1996 and he didn't have any children or a will. His parents never did anything to change ownership. His mother died in 2001 and his father followed in 2003. Then my father died suddenly in 2005. This only leaves his sister behind. Since my fathers death, my aunt has tried to get my brother and I to give up our rights to the property. My thought that is that she is entitled to half and my brother and I are each entitled to a quarter. However I don't know where to start this process. My dad didn't have a will so my brother and I went through a lawyer to become executors of his estate but I don't know what that means for the property in Poland especially since the person whose name it is in died almost 20 years ago. My aunt won't negotiate and I think she may be trying to wait until time is up, if there is a statute of limitations. Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated!
gjene 14 | 204
26 Aug 2014 #6
If you and your brother do not wish to give up your rights to the part ownership of the property, obtain any documents you can. Such as birth and death certificates. Since your uncle was the owner of the property and died before his parents (your grandparents), and he had no children, how much of the property reverted back to the parents and then after their deaths was divided between your aunt and father. Other postings I have read made allusions that if the owner of a property does not have children to inherit the property then the courts would look at the question did the deceased have siblings and/or parents still living and determine how to split the property if I understand it right.

The point here is who owned the property prior to it being registered in your uncle's name. If ownership got transferred while the original owners were still alive to your uncle there must be some kind of court document to substantiate this. By obtaining the certificates of the individuals involved (birth, marriage and death) may also assist in how the ownership got split may help your claims. By obtaining the various certificates will help to prove your claims to prove that the owner was your uncle because the names of the parents would be on all the birth certificates.

Using the certificates and other documents in proper perspective will help. Your best bet would be to locate a lawyer that will hopefully know the real estate laws and inform you if there is a statute of limitations and how that applies to your case.
MD_85 - | 1
9 Apr 2016 #7
Explanation of rules in case of no will you will find here:
jetski - | 1
20 Aug 2016 #8
Merged: Inheritance in Poland - father passed away without leaving a will; estranged siblings


I have a question about inheritance in Poland. I am joint owner of a property with my father, he has recently passed away without leaving will. I know that in this scenario the property is left to the blood relative/spouse. My mother is no longer with us, however, I have estranged siblings from my fathers previous marriage many years ago. I do not have any contact with them nor know where they live, can anyone advise or has experienced such a situation and how it can be resolved with as little stress as possible.

I look forward to your replies.
terri 1 | 1,664
20 Aug 2016 #9
Go to a solicitor. It is very likely that all your father's children are entitled to inherit from the value of the property. They will have to be found, sometimes notices are placed in the paper. You must ask about that as I am not sure whether the case has to go through the Courts.
10 Apr 2018 #10


Hi, I am writing to ask about polish law and how inheritance works in Poland. The reason being is that my granddad is poor at the moment and it dosnt seem as if he will be living much longer. the problem is that my Mothers sister is in really high debt and I fear if she gets a portion of the home's interest/share the debt collectors will gain the share and not her. This home is where countless memories of my grandparents and past summers are, its where I would love to bring my kids one day, they built it themselves and I can't imagine it going off to some random person that can appreciate the sentimental value. Is there any way to stop her from inheriting the property ?
cms neuf - | 2,049
10 Apr 2018 #11
The simple way is for you to buy it from your Grandad. He can then leave the resulting cash to his kids and your aunties debts could be paid off. Also this way you would probably save tax though depends on the details.
terri 1 | 1,664
10 Apr 2018 #12
If your parent and your auntie are nearest relatives - they will inherit granddad's house in equal portions. Make yourself familiar with inheritance law and the debt law.

Buying thew house at this stage would not circumvent the fact that his children would not be allowed to claim anything from you.
27 Sep 2018 #13
My father recently passed away in Poland. I haven't seen him since my mom brought my sister and me to Canada in 1989. He left his apartment (condo) to me and my sister and I don't know how to proceed. Both my sister and I live in Canada with our families and children and have no intention of going back to Poland. Do we need to go there to sell it/ deal with it? I was told we have 6 months . Please help. I speak, read and write Polish and English.
inkrakow 1 | 98
28 Sep 2018 #14
Sounds pretty straightforward - contact a lawyer in Poland to take you through the process. We have phones here now, and even email...
lul bul - | 48
28 Sep 2018 #15
I would not trust a lawyer there in Poland or pay anything upfront until you find a lawfirm that has an office in Warsaw also.
terri 1 | 1,664
28 Sep 2018 #16
The 6 months limit is for notifying Polish Tax authorities of the inheritance, but since you are not Polish resident this may not apply. Read up on this. You may however, be subject to 19% tax on the sale of the property is you sell it within so many years I think it's 5, but check on this.
8 Jan 2019 #17
I have a question about Poland inheritance law. My mom moved from Poland apst 40 years ago. Her uncle passed without a will a few years ago and for the past year, we have been getting my mother's brother in Poland stating that everyone is rejecting their uncle's 'inheritance' as they say he was in a lot of debt so now we are getting mail in Canada to reject anything as well, wanting our birth certificate and addresses. Is this normal? Should we provide this information to protect us from his debt? Please help
22 Apr 2020 #18
Hi , my British father passed away here in UK. He left testament in which he made a stranger a soul executrics and give her all of his Estate. However my father both flat in Poland ( flat I was brought up by my mum) 40 years ago. He divorced to my mum years ago and from divorced papers I understand that I inherited partly right to the flats. What should I do now as next thing after my father deaths ?
Atch 17 | 3,704
22 Apr 2020 #19
There are two kinds of assets which somebody can leave in a will, moveable and immoveable. A flat or house is immoveable. Immoveable assets located outside the UK are usually governed by the law of the country where they are located, so you have a chance of being able to make a claim on the flat. However, if your dad made a will invoking EU succession rights, then you don't have a claim. You need to see a copy of your father's will to see if he stated that he wanted UK law to be applied to his estate.

Also, it's possible that your dad already sold the flat, perhaps years ago. If that's the case then you're not likely to be able to do anything about it. But if the flat is still there, and your father's will didn't use the EU Succession regulation, then you may be able to get a Polish court to recognize your claim. You will need a solicitor though.
Lenka 3 | 3,054
22 Apr 2020 #20
are usually governed by the law of the country where they are located, so you have a chance to make a claim on the flat.

If that is the case the OP has more than a chance and for a bigger part. The mother's part and 'zachowek' after father as you can't completely disinherit a kid by a simple will in Poland
31 May 2020 #21

I have two questions.

My ex-partner's (Polish, living in the UK) half brother past away in Poland a few weeks ago and left some debts behind. Their mother passed away 20 years ago and his dad is not possible to find him.

1. Is my ex-partner, next one to inherit his debts by the polish law, and then in the future will be my daughter because her mother accepted or there was no other chance to refuse to pay the debt?

2. She is going to the Polish court to relinquish the inheritance and for my daughter's case, both parents must be present. We are separated, do I need to be in court because of my daughter for not inherit her uncle's debts?

I did my research and please correct me if I'm wrong. My ex-partner has 6 months to say if she wants to challenge to inherit his debts, and I am pretty sure my daughter will not get his debts because she is minor (6yo). This is what I found:

"In principle, heirs bear unlimited liability for a deceased's debts. Heirs may limit their liability by accepting the inheritance subject to inventory. In such cases, the heirs should make an appropriate declaration before a notary or the competent court within six months of the date on which they became aware of the inheritance. Heirs are jointly liable for a deceased's debts."

Thank you in advance for your help.

Kind regards.

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