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Inheritance law in Poland - child's right to real estate


spiritus 67 | 662    
17 Apr 2017  #1
I had a lively debate with a Polish friend of mine about inheritance law in Poland.

I was telling him that here in the UK a parent can bequeath their estate to one child but not the other and unless the other child can prove his parents are not of sound mind then the parent's will would be honoured.

He told me this wouldn't work in Poland as the other child would automatically have a right to the estate unless the parents had legally disowned him.

I struggle to believe this but would welcome anyone who has more knowledge on the subject
DominicB - | 2,623    
17 Apr 2017  #2
That is true not only in Poland, but in any country that uses civil law. The person making the will is not relieved from their duty to provide for their immediate family upon their death except under extraordinary circumstances, and part of the estate is reserved for immediate family and distributed according to a formula, regardless of what the will states. Very different from common law, in both theory and practice.

The theory is explained in this article: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forced_heirship
terri 1 | 1,523    
18 Apr 2017  #3
I can confirm that a person who is related to the deceased (wife, child, parent) have rights to the estate even though they have been omitted from the will. Unless it can be proven that they have done something or acted in a way that prohibits them from inheriting. For example, a child kills his parents - in that case, the child or his descendants are not entitled to anything.
OP spiritus 67 | 662    
18 Apr 2017  #4
So is there any point in making a will if the law decides for you how to distribute your estate ?
DominicB - | 2,623    
18 Apr 2017  #5
@spiritus

Yes, in theory. You are free to dispose of everything how you wish and to whom you wish except the portion that is reserved for close family members. Your estate is divided into an "obligatory portion", which goes to the family and is distributed according to a formula set by civil law, and a "discretionary portion", which you may dispose of as you wish. In actuality, though, very few Poles make wills. Something like two or three percent.


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