Restrictions on the freedom to dispose of one’s succession by will (reserved portion).

Last update: 10/5/2012

Croatian law guarantees the right to a reserved portion in the event where the testator has left a will.

What is the value of each reserved portion/the reserved portions compared with the value of the total succession?

For the testator’s descendants (including adoptive descendants) and his/her spouse, the reserved portion represents half of the part an heir would regularly inherit under the law, in the event where the testator left no will.

The testator’s ancestors (parents, adoptive parents and other ancestors) inherit the reserved portion in one third of the legacy they would normally inherit (only if they are permanently incapable of working and do not have support or the necessary means to support themselves), if called for reserved portion. They would be called for legacy if there are no “heirs by the law” in any of the ranks above them.

The beneficiaries of the reserved portion can waive the reserve. How?

In the Republic of Croatia it is possible to renounce an inheritance (in whole).
The heir cannot limit his/her liability. Heirs are with solidarity liable for the amount of the testator’s debts up to the value they have inherited.

Detailed information

Is there a reserved portion set aside for heirs? What percentage of the estate does this reserved portion represent? What is its legal nature?

Croatian law guarantees the right to a reserved portion in the event where the testator has left a will.

For the testator’s descendants (including adoptive descendants) and his/her spouse, the reserved portion represents 1/2 of what an heir would regularly inherit under the law, in case the testator left no will.

Testator’s ancestors (parents, adoptive parents and other ancestors) inherit the reserved portion in 1/3 of the legacy they would normally inherit (only if they are permanently incapable of working and do not have support or the necessary means to support themselves), if called for reserved portion. They would be called for legacy if there are no “heirs by the law” in any of the ranks above them.

What is the procedure to be followed to assert a right to the reserved portion? What are the time limits?

It is required to apply for the reserved portion during the inheritance proceedings.

In the Republic of Croatia a “reserved portion” applies to two categories of “heirs by law”. In the first category are testator’s descendants (including adoptive descendants) and his/her spouse.

Within the second category are testator’s parents, adoptive parents and other ancestors. The latter category inherits the reserved portion only if they are permanently incapable of working and do not have support or the means necessary for self-maintenance (Art. 69 ZON).

Is it possible to renounce the reserved portion?

In the Republic of Croatia it is possible to renounce an inheritance (in whole), (Art. 130-138 ZON) and it can be made before a court during the inheritance proceedings or through a publicly authorised statement, and also through a contract between the spouses, and between the descendant who can independently dispose his/her rights and his/her ascendant during his/her lifetime. Art. 130, 134 ZON The renunciation on inheritance (in whole) takes effect for the descendants of the person who renounced if he/she has not explicitly stated that he/she renounced in his/her name only. The time limit for the renunciation is until the inheritance order of first instance is laid down (Art. 130/1 ZON).