According to the current legislation of the Russian Federation, in order to receive an inheritance, it is necessary to undergo a procedure establishing the degree of relationship. Its purpose is to separate the real applicants for the testamentary property from the scammers.
Each person has the right to dispose of his property at his discretion, unless his disability is not legally confirmed. In the absence of problems with a psychological or mental state, he has the right to make a will in which his heir or heirs will be determined, as well as the size and proportions of the property transferred to him.
Sometimes it happens that at the announcement of the will, the next of kin do not hear their name, and the inheritance goes into the hands of strangers. In such a situation, determining the degree of kinship with the deceased becomes the only chance to challenge a seemingly unjust will. Most often, the court, when considering such cases, takes the side of the plaintiffs. To avoid this, the heir, not by the degree of kinship, must provide a certified claim for the right of the owner.
The order and rules of the will
All legal provisions should be observed with particular care when preparing a will. The slightest deviation from them threatens the heirs with a lawsuit from persons with the closest degree of kinship: brothers, sisters, children. A will not certified or executed in violation of the law may be recognized by the court as invalid.
This primarily concerns the signatures confirming the act of drawing up the will. Witnesses can not act as a notary public, the heir indicated in the document and people associated with him with a close degree of kinship in the family, incompetent persons, illiterate or not speaking the language of the text of the will. The date and place of certification of the document must be indicated. An exception to this rule is a closed will, that is, one whose contents are not known to anyone except the owner of the property.
In case of emergency, a person can state his will in simple written form. Such a document is deemed suitable for execution if there are at least two witnesses confirming that the text contained in it is the last will of the deceased and is written by him personally.
If the deceased did not have time to make a will or did not consider it necessary, the family should take into account that illegitimate children are among the first-order heirs. They can prove their degree of kinship with:
- documentary evidence;
- oral evidence;
- forensics, in which DNA analysis and archive data may be used.
Based on the evidence, the notary checks the degree of relationship of potential heirs to the deceased and arranges them in descending order of proximity. Inclusion in this list of persons who are not relatives of the testator is possible only with the consent of the other applicants whose status has already been confirmed.
Main lines of succession
Articles 1141-1145 and 1148 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation are devoted to the degree of kinship that corresponds to a particular family member. The heirs of the first stage are the spouse, parents and children of the deceased. They are the ones who have the legal ability to challenge a will made up not in their interests. The children and grandchildren of the testator can receive a share of his property by right of representation if the former heir died before the opening of the inheritance.
Among the heirs of the first degree are also postumas - children born not during the life of a mother or father within the ten-month period after the death of one of the parents (or both).
In the absence of persons of the first degree of kinship in the family of the deceased, the court draws attention to his other relatives, who make up the second line of inheritance. These include his brothers and sisters, as well as grandparents on both sides. Nephews and nieces have the right to inherit by right of representation.
The number of heirs of the third stage includes consanguineous and single-mother aunts and uncles of the testator. Their children, that is, cousins and brothers, can only expect to receive their share by right of representation.
Minor lines of priority
It may turn out that by the time the estate was opened for a six-month period, none of the persons belonging to the first lines of the order had declared their rights or had not been found. In this case, the Civil Code requires the admission of other family members to the number of heirs. You should know that the degree of relationship in relation to you is established by counting the number of births separating relatives.
So, the heirs of the fourth degree are the great-grandfathers and great-grandmothers of the deceased, if they are still alive. In fifth place are the children of nephews and nieces, as well as brothers and sisters of the grandfather and grandmother of the testator. The sixth place in the list is occupied by cousins of great sex and nephews of both sexes and children of cousins of grandparents.
Rights of non-relatives
In a situation where at the time of the owner’s death he does not have any blood relatives, stepsons, stepdaughters, stepfather and stepmother are allowed to inherit his property. However, members of their families, even the closest degree of kinship (sisters, brothers, other children), are excluded from the number of possible heirs, unless such an option was recorded by the deceased in the will.
The rights of persons who are dependent on the deceased are especially stipulated. If they were in this condition for at least a year before his death, the law recognizes them as heirs of the eighth priority. To recognize the status of a dependent, the following conditions must be met:
- minority or inability to engage in work due to age;
- lack of blood relationship with the testator;
- the welfare received from the deceased was the only means of subsistence.
You can prove the fact of being dependent on the testator by providing relevant certificates. They can be issued by local authorities. The dependent period must be clearly stated in these documents. If there are none, the court shall decide on the issue of the inheritance.
In addition to these positions, the Civil Code stipulates a situation in which the heirs of all queues are absent or deemed unworthy, and a notarized will is absent. If this happens, the property of the deceased is officially recognized as escheating. In this situation, the Russian Federation becomes the heir. Real estate owned by the deceased is transferred to the ownership of the municipality or constituent entity of the Russian Federation.
The law specifically stipulates cases in which even those who have the closest degree of kinship to the deceased may be deprived of inheritance rights. This can happen if a potential heir ever committed deliberate unlawful acts against the deceased, his other heirs or attempted to illegally change the contents of the will in his favor. If such events took place before the death of the property owner, and, despite this, he considered it necessary to include offenders in the will, they have the right to receive their share.
In addition, the father and mother of the deceased are recognized as unworthy heirs if they were deprived of parental rights. If one of the number of possible heirs accepted the obligation to maintain and care for the deceased, but did not perform them properly, then such a person is also excluded from the inheritance system.
Calculation of the share of the heir
Persons belonging to the same line of inheritance have the right to receive equal shares in the property of the deceased. The exception is heirs by right of representation. The part of property established in this way is considered an obligatory share. It includes everything that a person can receive on any legal basis. It also includes the value of that part of the property that he acquired after the legislative abandonment of any other heir.
If the primary heirs are minor children or disabled people, including dependents of the deceased, they receive at least half of their mandatory share. If necessary, such a right shall be satisfied at the expense of a part of the property departing to other heirs. First of all, this principle applies to existing unvisited property. If there is none, you have to change the shares prescribed in the will.
The size of the mandatory share may be reduced if its transfer to the heir who has such a right leads to the fact that the person who received some property by will and uses it as a means of subsistence will be left with nothing. The court examines the property status of the applicant for the required share, and also finds out whether he has ever used such property. It can be a dwelling, an enterprise or a workshop. In the absence of sufficient grounds for the redistribution of property, the court either reduces the mandatory share or completely refuses to transfer it to the applicant, regardless of the degree of relationship.