How and when does one become an heir?

Last update: 10/5/2012

„Informace dostupné na této stránce nejsou aktuální, protože nepřihlíží ke změnám, které od 1. 1. 2014 přinesl nový občanský zákoník.“

„The information available on this webpage is not up to date because it does not take into account the changes brought by the new Civil Code as of 1 January 2014.“

„Les informations disponibles sur ce site ne sont pas à jour, car elles ne prennent pas en compte les changements introduits par le nouveau Code civil à partir du 1 Janvier 2014.“

An heir acquires the status of heir pursuant to a decision by the notary acting as court commissioner. The effects of the decision are constitutive and enter into force on the day of the deceased’s death, even if the decision is issued later. In principle, the heir is personally liable for the deceased’s debts, up to the value of the estate received by him/her.

Detailed information

A person may become an heir if he/she/it (“it” – in case of juridical person) has the capacity to have rights and duties (at the moment of the deceased’s death, including a conceived baby, if born alive), did not commit a deliberate crime against the deceased and his/her family, did not act in a condemnable way towards the deceased’s will, and did not disclaim the succession.

Is it possible to renounce a succession?

An heir may make a declaration renouncing his/her succession no later than one month after the day he/she was informed by the Court Commissionaire of his/her right and the consequences of such a disclaimer. The disclaimer must be made either by oral declaration before the Court Commissioner or a written declaration sent to the Court Commissioner (Sec. 463 to 468 of the Law No. 40/1964 Coll.).

Is it possible to accept a succession subject to conditions?

No, Czech law does not allow for such a possibility (Sec. 466 of the Law No. 40/1964 Coll.)

Are the heirs and co-heirs liable for the deceased’s debts?

Yes, heirs are liable, up to the amount of the inheritance acquired by them, for the debts of the decedent which pass to him/her on the decedent’s death. (Sec. 470 to 471 of the Law No. 40/1964 Coll.).