Inheritance in Bulgaria
Inheritance in BulgariaUpdated on Monday 18th April 2016
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Inheritance in Bulgaria is enforced either by law or through a will. The Inheritance Law is the main legislative document that regulates inheritance matters and the rights to succession. The provisions of the Civil Procedure Code can also be applicable. Foreigners who own property here are subject to the same laws for passing on real estate.
Our Bulgarian lawyers can help you dispose of your assets in a legal way and can assist you when drafting a will.
Reserved heirs in Bulgaria
According to the Bulgarian law, some categories of heirs are entitled to receive a proportion of the property owned by the deceased. The Inheritance Law prioritises the surviving spouse and the children. They are followed, if there are no children, by the parents of the deceased, brothers and sisters, second or higher degree ascendants. If there are no heirs according to law, the owned property will pass to the Bulgarian municipality.
The reserved proportion of the property is 1/2 for one descendant or 2/3 for two or more descendants. This applies if the deceased was not married. The surviving spouse is entitled to 50% of the estate. The parent receives a reserved portion of 1/3.
Ownership in Bulgaria
Ownership in Bulgaria is possible through a registered company in the country or as individuals. While the latter is more common, some individuals may choose to acquire property in Bulgaria through a company. This way, the real estate is owned by the legal entity and the individual can pass on only the shares he or she owns in the company.
The most common way to control the manner in which property is disposed of (except for the forced heirship percentages) is to draw up a will. Any individual above the age of 18 who has full mental capacity can create such a succession document. The will is drawn up in the presence of a notary and registered in order to be enforceable after the death of the testator.
An inheritance tax applies to the properties inherited in the country. It is payable by the heirs (but not by the spouse and direct heirs) and it is levied on a municipal level.
For more information about inheritance in Bulgaria and legal representation for heirs, you can contact our law firm in Bulgaria.