In the absence of a will, who inherits and how much?
Last update: 10/7/2012
Where there is no will, the following principles apply to the various scenarios, such as:
- If the deceased was unmarried and without children, the parents (or their descendants) inherit half for each line (maternal – paternal). If a deceased parent does not have any descendants, the sole heir will be the other parent, or his/her descendants.
- If the deceased was unmarried and leaves children, the estate is shared equally between the children.
- If the deceased leaves a spouse, the spouse without descendants inherits full ownership of the whole estate.
- If the deceased leaves a spouse and children, the spouse receives the usufruct to the whole estate whereas the descendants or heirs by division of inheritance receive the bare ownership. The usufruct is cancelled by law if the surviving spouse remarries. Descendants can apply for the usufruct to be limited. The spouse and all the heirs can request that the usufruct of the surviving spouse be repurchased (except for the life tenancy of the main home and furniture).
Do partners of a registered or unregistered partnership inherit?
Recent changes to the law of succession have given registered partners of the same sex the same legal status as the spouse. On the other hand, the law does not apply to the succession of non-registered partnerships; the partner cannot therefore inherit in this case.
In the absence of a will, the following principles apply:
- If the deceased was unmarried and without children, the estate devolves to the parents entitled to inherit and to their descendants. If both parents are still alive, they are the universal heirs. If one or both of them are already predeceased, the brothers and sisters of the deceased or their descendants inherit the predeceased parent’s share (§ 607-610 of the Hungarian Civil Code – PTK). The statutory succession is limited to four orders. The principle of representation applies for descendants, parents and grandparents of the deceased (and for their descendants) – (§ 607(3), 608(2)-(3), 609(2)-(4) PTK).
- If the deceased was unmarried and leaves children, the estate is divided equally between the children. If the children are predeceased, their descendants inherit. Each child inherits an equal share. Adopted children are treated the same as children by blood (§ 607 (1) – (3) PTK).
- If the deceased leaves a spouse/registered partner, the surviving spouse/registered partner becomes universal heir, if the deceased does not leave any descendants (§ 607 (4) PTK). The surviving spouse/registered partner is ranked among the order of the statutory heirs.
- If the deceased leaves a spouse and children, the surviving spouse/registered partner inherits the usufruct of the whole estate not otherwise inherited by him/her (§ 615 (1) PTK) in competition with the descendants or heirs by division of inheritance.
Descendants are entitled to request for limitation of spousal/ the registered partner’s usufruct. Usufruct can be limited at any time. Limitation, however, can only be demanded to the extent that the limited usufruct provides for the needs of the spouse/registered partner. The spouse and all the heirs can request that the usufruct of the surviving spouse be repurchased.
What are the rights in the succession of partners of registered or non-registered partnerships?
In succession law surviving registered partners (bejegyzett élettársak) of same sex have the same rights as surviving spouses.
Upon the death of a partner of a non-registered partnership (of different or same sex), the surviving partner inherits only if the deceased partner has made testamentary dispositions in his/her or her favour (§ 685/A PTK).
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Successions in Hungary
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