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Inheritance in Russia

Inheritance in Russia

Updated on Monday 18th April 2016

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The main function of the Russian laws on inheritance is social justice and one of the laws' most important purposes is to look after the family members who can not do it themselves. When a Russian citizen dies, 50% of his/her estate goes to the children or parents of the deceased. In case there is no lawful heir, the estate is passed to the Russian Government as the fortune is declared heirless. If you find yourself in a difficult inheritance situation, you can feel free to seek counsel from our lawyers in Russia

Courts dealing with inheritance in Russia

General jurisdiction courts can resolve inheritance issues. The case shall be opened in the deceased's place of residence (when this information is available), except for when that location is outside Russia; in which situation the case must be opened where the immovable property is situated. 
In case of an amiable case, the court does not have to get involved and thus, it can be carried out by a notary who can issue the deeds for the right of inheritance
The inheritance has to be accepted within the first six months after the succession has been opened. The acceptance of an inheritance can be done by a representative in the Russian Federation if the heir is a foreigner. Our law firm in Russia can offer advice in these matters and find a convenient way to deal with your case in order to ensure that your interests are being looked after.

Inheritance Law and wills’ rules in the Russian Federation

The inheritance law states that the properties should be distributed between the heirs of the deceased in the following way:
  • - to the children, parents and spouse equally (grandchildren in the case of the death of the children);
  • - if there are no heirs in the first line, then it has to go to the brothers, sisters and grandparents of the deceased equally.
The law states that a notary is needed for certifying a will; in exceptional cases, in the absence of a notary, two witnesses are required. The latter case may take the whole process to court, as the validity of the will would be questioned. For further information about wills or Inheritance Law, do not hesitate to ask our Russian attorneys for advice.

Foreigners, Inheritance Law and taxes

In the Russian Federation, in inheritance matters, part 3 of the Civil Code is the applicable law. Foreigners face no restrictions as the rules on inheritance and wills are the same for both foreign citizens and Russians.
There are no taxes on inherited properties. This applies regardless of the individual's residency status.
For further details or assistance in inheritance issues, you can contact our Russian lawyers. They will help you with any documents needed or guidance in other Russian legal matters.


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