Acceptance of Inheritance in Bulgaria
The heir obtains the right to acquire the heritage with the opening of the inheritance. According to Article 48 of the Bulgarian Inheritance Act, the inheritance shall be acquired with its acceptance. As provided by the law, the acceptance has retroactive effect and is valid as of the moment of the opening of the inheritance. The acceptance of inheritance requires the consent of the respective heir and must be confirmed explicitly or implicitly (Article 49).
To accept the heritage explicitly, the heir must file a written declaration to the district court in the place of the accrual of the inheritance which will be registered into the book of the court. If the heir does not accept voluntarily, the court may, upon of a request by a person who has legal interest of that, summon the heir and define a term for the acceptance of the inheritance. If in that case the heir does not declare his will to accept within the time limit, he loses his right to acquire the inheritance. Each heir holds the right to determine a term of acceptance.
An implied acceptance is valid, if the heir takes the estate and properties in the inheritance in possession or even hides the heritage. As provided by the law, this acceptance acts retroactively for the moment of the opening of the inheritance. If the heir accepts by implication he may not waive the acceptance afterwards.
Furthermore, the inheritance may be accepted with inventory or as a whole. The acceptance with inventory limits the liability to the obtained rights; regarding the direct acceptance, the creditors of the testator are entitled to demand the satisfaction of their claims even against the heir’s personal assets. According to Article 61 of the inheritance law, the acceptance after inventory must be declared in written form to the district court within three months after the inheritance became known to the heir. Following Article 62, the acceptance with inventory by one of the heirs shall be used by the others, but it does not deprive them from the right to accept the inheritance straight or to renounce it. The Bulgarian Inheritance Act provides three occasions for which accepting the inheritance with an inventory is mandatory. These refer to when the following subjects are inheriting:
- The State;
- Legally incompetent persons;
- Public organisations;
- The heir who laid a claim to restore the portion of the inheritance against third parties.
According to Article 65 of the Bulgarian Inheritance Act, the heir who accepted with inventory becomes the administrator of the inherited assets. Anyway, he may not transfer property within 5 years and movable property not within 3 years after the acceptance of the inheritance (except with an explicit permission by the district court). Failing to comply with that restriction would lead to his unlimited liability to the creditors of the testator.