The role of International inheritance law in Bulgaria

The rights of free movement and freedom of establishment have become the milestones of modern culture. This is why it occurs more and more often that people decide to go to live in a foreign country. The question, what happens to their inheritance afterwards is self-explanatory and arises from itself. The answer to that question inevitably leads to the application of international law and regulations. The relevant regulations are provided by Articles 89 to 92 of the Bulgarian Code of International Law.

Inheriting movable and immovable property is regulated differently. The basic principle is that the law of the state in which the estate is located is applicable when discussing the inheritance of land or immovable property, while the inheritance of movable property (personal belongings) is regulated by the laws of the country where the deceased has had his last residence.

A choice of applicable law is permitted to an extent – usually the testator is allowed to choose the applicable law unless he, by that choice, infringes the indefeasible portion of the heirs. The validity of that clause depends on the regulations of the chosen governing law. The choice does affect the scope of heirs as those are determined for intestate inheritance by the laws of the country`s law chosen. The choice of jurisdiction does also affect the way the inheritance is accepted if such a legal concept is present in the laws of the chosen jurisdiction, as well as all other matters related to the acquisition of inherited.