Which is the competent authority?
Who should I contact?
Last update: 10/1/2012
The succession procedure is a non-litigious/ out-of-court procedure, which ends with a decision taken by the civil law notary. The competent civil law notary acts on behalf of the Court of First Instance. The Hungarian authorities have exclusive competence for real property located in Hungary.
The procedure is instigated either on the basis of an application or automatically. In most cases, the procedure is managed by a civil law notary. For the succession procedure, a notary residing in the district where the deceased had his/her last place of residence in Hungary is competent.
In the event the testator did not have a permanent residence in Hungary, the notary public will be the notary public within whose jurisdiction the testator’s last home address was located; if this is not possible, the competent notary public will be one acting in the jurisdiction where the testator died. If the testator died in a foreign country, and had no permanent residence or place of residence in Hungary, that notary public will conduct the probate proceedings within whose jurisdiction the asset is located. If none of these locations can be identified, the Hungarian National Chamber of Notaries will appoint a notary public at the request of the party to the proceedings.
If jurisdiction is determined by the location of the testator’s assets, and on this basis several notary publics are competent, that notary public will act who is chosen by the county clerk.
Which international rules of jurisdiction apply:
- to the assets of a national or a foreign citizen?
In the absence of applicable provisions in international agreements, the succession of real property located in Hungary will be settled in Hungary, provided that the deceased had Hungarian nationality (§ 36 of Decree-Law n° 13 of 1979 on private international law) If the deceased was a foreign national, the succession of real property located in Hungary will be settled in Hungary.
- to the assets of the deceased if located abroad?
For the succession of real property located abroad are competent the authorities where the estate is located (lex rei sitae) which is not the case by succession of movable assets.
Which authority is responsible for the succession procedure?
In most of the cases the procedure is conducted by a civil law notary who acts as court of first instance (local court) in succession cases. For the succession procedure, a civil law notary residing in the district where the deceased had his/her last place of residence in Hungary is competent.
If the deceased did not have a place of residence in Hungary, a notary in the district where the deceased had his/her last habitual residence shall be competent for the succession. If the deceased did not have a habitual residence in Hungary, a notary of the district where the deceased died shall be competent for the succession. If the deceased died abroad, and had neither a place of residence nor a habitual residence in Hungary, the notary of the district where the assets are located shall have competence for the succession. If none of the above cases applies, the National Chamber of Notaries of Hungary shall mandate the competent notary at the request of the interested parties.
If this competence is determined according to the place where the deceased’s assets are located, and if there are several competent notaries in this district, the municipal clerk shall select a notary from among the eligible notaries. (§ 4 of Law XXXVIII of 2010 on the succession procedure).
How and by whom is the succession procedure instigated?
The procedure is instigated either on the basis of an application or automatically (ex officio), when the competent civil law notary receives the application or becomes aware of the information about the death of the deceased.
How is the heir’s capacity checked?
The heir’s capacity is checked as part of the succession procedure before the civil law notary.
Can or must an inventory of the estate be drawn up?
An inventory can be drawn up by the officer mandated by the town clerk or by the civil law notary. There are some cases defined by the law on the succession procedure in which the drawing up of the inventory is compulsory:
The drawing up of an inventory of the estate is compulsory in the following cases: * if the deceased’s estate includes real estate located in Hungary, shares in a company or cooperative entered in the Hungarian trade register, assets officially registered in the official State registers (e.g.: aeroplanes, boats) or personal property having a value in excess of the inheritance tax exemption limit; * if, on the basis of the information available, it is probable that the registered debts of the succession exceed the assets of the deceased’s estate; * if the interested parties request an inventory; * if the interests of the heir are threatened and the heir is an embryo, a minor child, an adult with no legal capacity or limited legal capacity, a person whose address is unknown, a person deprived of his/her liberty or where the sole heir is the Hungarian State; * if the deceased had provided for the creation of a foundation in his/her will.
Is there a system regarding the administration of the succession?
In Hungary, it is not mandatory to have an appointed executor or administrator for the succession; even the heirs may administrate the estate by themselves. The testator may nominate an executor either for the execution of the will or for the administration of the estate, up to the end of the procedure (§ 98-101 of Law XXXVIII of 2010 on the succession procedure). The executor acts as the mandatory of the heirs.
How is the succession procedure closed?
The procedure is closed by the notarial decision, which has the same legal value as a decision issued by local courts and in the same time serves as a proof of the position as an heir.
How is the estate transmitted to the heirs/legatees?
The inheritance is transferred to the heir at the time of the death of the deceased ipso iure. The succession procedure is to declare the legal situation towards third parties and the authorities. The civil law notary issues a decision about the transmission of the estate (§ 83-89 of Law XXXVIII of 2010 on the succession procedure).
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