INHERITANCE LAW AND PROBATE MATTERS
Inheritance is possible by testament or by law. If there is no testament left by the decedent, inheritance by law shall prevail the rules of which are in the Hungarian Civil Code. If the decedent has made a testament, the order of inheritance will be determined by it.
Testaments can be made in three forms: public testament and written private testament, furthermore the testator may make an oral testament in the case of such a direct life threatening situation that does not allow to make a written testament.
A public testament can be made before a public notary. The written private testament must meet a number of formal requirements. If these formal requirements are not met by the written private testament, it may even result the invalidity of the testament. To avoid this the cooperation of an attorney-at-law during making the written private testament is recommended.
A hard copy of the written private testament drafted by the cooperating attorney-at-law – at the request of the testator – shall be forwarded in a sealed envelope to the Hungarian Bar Association archives for registration in the Central Register of Testaments. The document inside the sealed envelope shall only upon an official notification by the competent public notary or court be forwarded by the Register. At the request of the competent public notary or the court before which the probate proceedings is going on, the Hungarian Bar Association shall provide information on the records of testaments and – upon request – forwards it to the acting public notary.
With an inheritance contract the testator, in exchange for support and maintenance, life endowment or care makes the other contracting party his or her successor, with the condition that the other party undertakes to provide support and maintenance, life endowment or care.
In the case of gift contract upon death the donation is carried out on the condition that the recipient survives the donator.
In the event of the testator’s death the probate procedure is initiated before the competent notary upon receipt of the notification of the testator’s death. The probate procedure is divided into two phases: the registration of the inventory of probate and the procedure before the public notary. If the decedent had assets that must be registered in the inventory, the notary prepares the inventory of inheritance during which the data of the decedent and persons involved in the probate process, the inherited assets and the related declarations shall be gathered and recorded. After finishing the inventory of the assets the notary forwards the inventory and the complete documentation to the competent public notary who sets an appointment for the probate hearing. At the end of the probate hearing the public notary shall hand over the assets with full force or if it’s not possible with temporary force. The acquirer of the assets with temporary force may hold possession of the assets, gain possession of the assets if he or she is not in possession of it and use them as a bona fide possessor, but can not dispose or encumber it until the handover of the assets with full force or until the inheritance order’s full force is declared.
- drafting of gift contract on death and,
- contract of inheritance;
- representation in probate procedures and probate court proceedings;
- general legal advice.