Inheritance Lawyers in Bulgaria - Guide on Succession in Bulgaria

Inheritance Lawyers in Bulgaria

Updated on Sunday 05th December 2021

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Inheritance-Lawyers-in-BulgariaThe Bulgarian Civil Code contains provisions on various matters, including inheritance. According to the chapter with the same name, the heirs of a deceased person are entitled to a portion of the estate left by the latter. However, the Inheritance Law is more complex, and several other aspects should be considered. Among these, the inheritance tax in Bulgaria is one of the most important.
Our law firm in Bulgaria are at the service of Bulgarian and foreign nationals who need support in drafting wills or claiming their rights over an inheritance. Below, we invite you to find out how our inheritance lawyers in Bulgaria can help you.

The Bulgarian Inheritance Law

It should be noted that the Inheritance Act contains provisions for all persons owning assets in Bulgaria, including foreign citizens who have properties here. According to it, a person can draft a will which can take a written or oral form (the latter is seldom used now) and, based on which, the person making it (the testator) can divide his/her estate. What should be noted is that not all the assets can be disposed of as the deceased wishes, as a portion of the estate is reserved to certain heirs (children and spouse).
There is also the case of persons who die without leaving a will, a case in which intestate heirship is considered upon the division of assets.
It should also be noted that the inheritance tax in Bulgaria is imposed based on the value of the assets inherited.

The division of assets under the Inheritance Act

In most cases, the testator can dispose of his/her assets as he or she wishes, however, in practice, the reserved part must be respected. This includes the children and spouse of the deceased to be entitled to a portion of the estate as it follows:
  • a half of the estate must be left to the child (where the deceased has one child);
  • 2/3rds of the deceased’s estate if he or she has two or more children;
  • a half of the estate will be reserved to the spouse in case the couple has no children;
  • 1/3rd of the estate can be reserved to the parents outliving their children.
The reserved portion can remain at only 1/6th of the entire estate for each child, if the deceased has at least 3 children or more and the spouse and parents are also entitled to a part of the assets.
In the case of children, the Inheritance Law provides for natural and adopted children to inherit a dead person.
Considering the law can be quite complicated, we recommend using the services of our inheritance lawyers in Bulgaria who can help you draft a will.

Foreign citizens and inheritances in Bulgaria

The Bulgarian inheritance legislation contains specific provisions for foreign citizens who own assets in this country, as well as for Bulgarian citizens who have established themselves in other countries but have assets here.
In the case of foreign citizens, the law applies in the following cases:
  • the foreign citizen has immovable property in Bulgaria;
  • the assets inherited in Bulgaria are movable.
The law specifies that the foreign citizen can choose to leave his/her assets in accordance with the law of the country he is a citizen of. Therefore, a foreigner can also choose to divide an estate based on the Bulgarian law. This can be more advantageous from a taxation point of view due to the low rates applicable here.
If you have any questions on the inheritance tax in Bulgaria, our lawyers can provide the necessary legal details.

The inheritance tax in Bulgaria – what to consider

When it comes to the inheritance tax, it falls under the Local Tax Law. However, there are a few aspects to consider, such as the establishment of the amounts to be paid, and which are calculated under specific conditions. For example:
  1. real estate is valued in accordance with the local taxes and fees which can suffer alterations;
  2. precious metals are taxed in accordance with the exchange rate published by the Bulgarian National Bank at the opening of the will;
  3. securities and other movable assets are valued at a fair market price;
  4. motor vehicles are taxed at the insured value.
This information can also be found with the Ministry of Finance in Bulgaria.

Rates of the inheritance tax in Bulgaria

An interesting fact about the Bulgarian inheritance tax is that it does not apply to the spouse and children of a deceased person. However, other surviving relatives of a person leaving a testament must consider the following:
  • rates of 0.4% to 0.8% apply to brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews inheriting assets with values of more than 250,000 BGN;
  • rates of 3.3% to 6.6% apply for other distant relatives inheriting assets valued at more than 25,000 BGN.
For more information on the succession tax, please contact our inheritance lawyers in Bulgaria.