In accordance with the applicable rules of inheritance, it can be said in general that with the testator’s death their inheritance as a whole passes on to the heir. In other words, inheritance is a universal legal succession that occurs with the death of a person.
It is clear from the above that in the case of legal persons there is no inheritance to speak of – in their case there may be a place for termination with or without a legal successor. In most cases the date of death of the testator is easily determined, since it is indicated in the death certificate.
There may be cases however, where the date and time of death is unclear. For these cases our legal system applies non-litigious procedures called declaration of death and establishing the fact of death.
The court shall, upon request declare a missing person dead if 5 years have passed since his or her disappearance without any information as to him or her being alive. However, according to the relevant case-law, if both the place and fact of death can be determined on the basis of the evidence revealed, instead of declaration of death the establishment of the fact of death procedure shall be conducted.
The proceeding for the declaration of death may be also requested if someone has died, but his or her death cannot be proved by an authentic instrument. Therefore, in such cases all relevant data on death can be obtained, but official registration has not yet taken place.
With the occurrence of death as a legal fact, the legal capacity of a person born alive ceases (from this point on we speak of ornamental rights), and inheritance takes place.
On what basis can one inherit?
Inheritance is based on either disposition of property upon death or on law. Thus, the precedence of the disposition of property upon death applies, which means that if upon the death of the testator such a valid disposition of property upon death remains, the order of inheritance is mainly determined by it.
It is important to note that inheritance based on disposition of property upon death and by law may coexist if, for example part of the disposition of property upon death is invalid or does not cover all of the assets.
Disposition of property upon death
A will is a unilateral, unaddressed declaration by the testator in which he or she disposes his or her property in the event of their death. A will, therefore, is a document of the testator’s will in which he or she disposes his or her assets, naming their heir or heirs. The will is subject to strict formalities based on the Civil Code of Hungary.
Contract of inheritance
An important difference from a will is that a contract of inheritance is a bilateral contract in which the testator appoints the other contracting party as their heir in exchange for maintenance, annuity or nurture to themselves or a third party specified in the contract, and the other contracting party undertakes the obligation of maintenance, annuity or nurture. A contract of inheritance is also subject to strict formalities that are applicable to wills.
Gift upon death
In the case of a gift upon death, donation is made on the condition that the recipient survives the donor.
How I can assist you on the field of inheritance law?
- Drafting and reviewing of wills, contracts of inheritance and gift upon death;
- Placing the will prepared based on the retainer in the Archives of the Hungarian Bar Association and registering it in the Central Register of Wills;
- Legal counselling and representation during succession proceedings and in succession disputes.