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General provisions of the inheritance law in Poland


General Provisions

Art. 922 [Succession].
§ (1) Upon the death of the deceased, property rights and obligations of the deceased pass to one or more persons pursuant to the Polish Civil Code.
§ (2) The succession shall not include the rights and obligations of the deceased closely connected with his person, as well as rights which, upon his death, are transferred to certain persons regardless of whether they are inheritors.
§ Par. 3 The debts under the succession also include the costs of the testator's funeral to the extent that the funeral is in line with the customary practice in the given community, the costs of succession proceedings, the obligation to satisfy claims for a legacy and the obligation to execute legacies and instructions as well as other obligations provided for in the Polish Civil Code.

Article 923 [Rights of the spouse and relatives].
§ 1 The spouse and other persons close to the testator who lived with him/her until the day of his/her death are entitled to use the testator's flat and household facilities to the extent hitherto within three months from the opening of the succession. A disposition of the testator excluding or limiting this entitlement shall be null and void.
§ 2 The above provisions shall not limit the entitlements of the spouse and other persons close to the testator, which arise from the lease of premises or from the cooperative right to premises.

Art. 924 [Time of opening the inheritance].
The succession shall be opened upon the death of the testator.

Art. 925 [Acquiring the inheritance].
The inheritor shall acquire the inheritance upon the opening of the inheritance.

Art. 926 [Sources of an appointment to inheritance].
§ Art. 926 [Acquiring the inheritance] The appointment to the inheritance shall result from the law or a will.
§ Legal succession in respect of the entire estate takes place when the deceased has not appointed an heir or when none of the persons whom the deceased has appointed is willing or able to be an heir.
§ Subject to the exceptions stipulated by the law, legal succession in respect of a part of the inheritance takes place when the bequeather has not appointed an heir to that part of the inheritance or when any of the several persons whom he has appointed to the entire inheritance is unwilling or unable to be an heir.

Art. 927 [Capacity to inherit; Capacity to inherit by a preborn child].
§ 1. A natural person who is not alive at the time of the opening of the inheritance, nor a legal person who does not exist at that time, may not be an inheritor.
§ Paragraph 2. However, a child already conceived at the time of the opening of the succession may be an heir if he or she is born alive.
§ 3 A foundation established in a will by a testator may be an heir if it is entered in the register within two years from the announcement of the will.

Art. 928 [Inheritance incompatibility].
§ 1. An heir may be declared unworthy by the court if:
1) has intentionally committed a grave crime against the testator;
2) by trickery or threat has persuaded the testator to draw up or revoke a will, or has or she prevented him/her from doing either of these acts in the same manner;
3) intentionally covered up or destroyed the testator's will, counterfeited or forged his or her will, or knowingly used a will forged or forged by another person.
§ 2 An unworthy heir is excluded from the inheritance as if he had not lived to see the opening of the succession.
Art. 929 [Active legitimacy in a lawsuit for unworthiness to inherit].
Declaring an heir unworthy may be requested by anyone who has an interest therein. Such a request may be made within a year from the date on which he learns about the reason for unworthiness, however, no later than within three years from the opening of the inheritance.

Art. 930 [Forgiveness].
§ 1 An heir may not be declared unworthy if the testator has forgiven him or her.
§ 2 If at the moment of forgiveness the testator did not have legal capacity, forgiveness is effective if it was done with sufficient discernment.

Extract from the Polish Civil Code valid as of 28.01.2022