Lawyer's addressLövőház utca 20/A.
1024 Budapest Hungary

Attorney's phone number Tel.: +36 1 316 9233
Law office's fax number Fax.: +36 1 336 0107
Attorney's office e-mail

Inheritance and succession proceedings

In the event you inherited in Hungary or if you need legal assistance during the succession proceedings in Hungary, then you have come to the right place: our lawyers with extensive experience in the field of solving foreign clients’ legal problems and in issues related to family law, inheritance and succession proceedings are right here at your disposal.

How do you know you have inherited in Hungary?

You will not get an official notification of a possible inheritance in Hungary. Therefore, if you learn of the death of a relative, acquaintance or friend from whom you may have inherited, you will need to make the initial steps yourself. The easiest way to do so is to hire a legal representative in Hungary to act on your behalf and protect your interests.

Jurisdiction – Which country’s laws will apply to the inheritance?

If the deceased/testator was a citizen of Hungary, then the laws of Hungary shall be applied to their estate in Hungary. If the deceased/testator was not a citizen of Hungary, then their national laws shall be applied to their estate. In such cases the acting notary public shall request information from the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding which country’s jurisdiction should be applied during the succession proceedings. If for example the deceased was a citizen of the USA and possessed real estate in Hungary, then the Hungarian notary public shall apply the inheritance laws of the USA when handing over the estate to the heirs.

What are the steps of the succession proceedings in Hungary?

According to Hungarian law, succession takes place in the moment of death of the deceased. However, the issue of who the heirs are, the scope of their inheritance and the burdens the inheritance is encumbered with must be clarified in the so-called succession proceedings to be concluded by a succession decree issued by the notary public.

If the death occurred in Hungary, then the local government of the last registered residence of the deceased is officially informed and the succession proceedings commence. If the deceased did not die in Hungary, then an application shall be submitted to the relevant local government in Hungary for the initiation of the succession proceedings.

The local government will first take an inventory of the estate listing all the possessions of the testator. The inventory is then submitted to the relevant notary public who then conducts the succession proceedings.

In the course of the succession proceedings the notary public contacts the banks and various records to find out what bank accounts and other recorded assets (real estates, vehicles etc.) the deceased had in their possession.

Then the notary public holds a succession hearing and officially hands over the estate of the deceased to the heirs.

The heirs shall participate in the succession proceedings and in the succession hearing either in person or through an authorised representative.

What is the best course of action if you inherit in Hungary?

If you learn of the death of a close acquaintance or relative from whom you will presumably inherit (by way of your relationship or as a result of a will) and who had assets (real estate, vehicle, bank account) in Hungary than you are advised to hire a lawyer with extensive experience in Hungarian law working in Hungary to represent your interests. Then, as your legal representatives, we can inspect the available documents and inform you whether, in our legal opinion, you will inherit from the deceased. If so, we can initiate the succession proceedings on your behalf so that you can receive your inheritance as soon as possible.

Am I obliged to hire a lawyer for the succession proceedings?

Under Hungarian legislation you are not obliged to hire a legal representative for the succession proceedings. However, more often than not, legal issues arise during the process that can only be addressed and resolved by a suitably qualified legal representative. Such issues involve the interpretation of the various documents related to the proceedings (personal care agreements, testamentary contracts, testaments etc.) and the creation of an agreement and understanding among the heirs.

What can you do with the assets you inherited in Hungary?

You are free to use your inheritance acquired in Hungary and can take movable assets with you abroad or sell them as you please. The only exceptions are protected works of art whose removal from the country is subject to a prior written permission. There are special rules pertaining to arable land, too. We will be glad to provide further details upon request.

How can our Lawyers’ Office assist you in issues related to succession?

During the past few years we have acquired significant experience in the management of inheritance and succession cases of our clients living abroad and/or not speaking Hungarian. We have represented clients from the USA, Ireland, the United Kingdom and even Australia.

If you hire our Lawyers’ Office you will not need to travel to Hungary – we will be your local professional representatives in your succession case and keep you regularly updated on the progress of the case.

We also stand at your disposal if you wish to sell assets inherited in Hungary. Our real estate consultants can be of assistance to you in relation to the sale of real estate located in Hungary.

Contact us:

Dr. Littner Hungarian Lawyer

Dr. Zsolt Littner


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