Probably many of you have heard the story of an 11-year-old from Radom – the youngest bankrupt in Poland – who inherited all the debt from his deceased father. Unfortunately, his legal guardians did not help him reject the inheritance, or were not aware that the boy had such a right.
From now on it is possible to remedy this type of situation thanks to the amendment to the law of succession, the question – how? Until now, the heir inherited everything – including debts that he often had no idea about.
What is worse, he was responsible for them with all his property
even when it significantly exceeded the value of the deceased’s property received. It was so-called “Simple inheritance acceptance”.
There was one way out of the situation, or rather a right that allowed, within six months, to make an appropriate statement in which the heir presented his decision whether to accept the estate or resign from it altogether. On October 18, 2015, everything changed in favor of the heir, when the amendment to the law of succession entered into force.
Limitation of Liability
The amendment changed the provision that states that the lack of a statement within six months of the inheritance being established is considered as its simple acceptance. After the changes, the lack of response from the heir will be treated as acceptance of the inheritance, together with the benefit of inventory.
This means that liability for debts will be limited to the value of the property received. Its value is determined in the inventory list or in the active list. When it turns out that the amount of debts is higher than the assets, the heir will not gain anything from it – but more importantly – he will not have to pay extra with his money to pay off the debt of the deceased.