Inheritance in Latvia

Inheritance in Latvia

Updated on Wednesday 06th January 2016

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Inheritance-in-LatviaInheritance matters are regulated by the Civil Law Act in Latvia. The legislation referring specifically to inheritance is the Inheritance Rights and Rights on Things enabled in 1992. According to this legislation, holding a property or any other asset means having the total power over the respective asset including leaving it to whom the owner wants after their passing away. The Latvian Civil Law divides the assets that can be inherited into:

  • -          tangible,
  • -          intangible.

Tangible assets are also divided into movable and immovable goods. Intangible assets are usually dealt with by the Commercial Law as these type of goods imply amounts of money, pledges or shares in companies.

Forms of accepting an inheritance in Latvia

The Civil Law establishes that an heir can either accept or decline an inheritance. The inherited assets can be accepted in person or through a substitute by granting a power of attorney. However, in order to receive an inheritance, the heir or heirs must be alive at the time of the succession. The Latvian inheritance legislation establishes three types of heirs:

  • -          intestacy,
  • -          testamentary,
  • -          contractual heirs.

Starting with January 2003, the Latvian legislation on inheritance enabled two forms of accepting an estate:

  • -          expressing the intent to accept the inheritance by signing a document drafted and certified by a Latvian public notary,
  • -          taking possession of the estate.

Our lawyers in Latvia can provide you with more information about the inheritance legislation.

Latvian inheritance in absence of a will

Most of the times, an estate is inherited based on a testament. In case the inheritor did not leave a will, the law establishes how the estate will be divided. The division of assets in case of succession in absence of a testament is done as it follows:

  • -          if the deceased was not married and did not have children, his siblings will inherit them,
  • -          if the deceased was not married but had children, the children will inherit them,
  • -          if the deceased was married, the spouse will inherit the estate,
  • -          if the deceased was married and had children, the estate will be divided among them.

Succession in case of married persons also depend on the marital property regime in Latvia.

If you need assistance in litigation cases related to inheritance matters, you can contact our law firm in Latvia.