Wills And Inheritance Under Ukrainian Law

Do you want to claim an inheritance in Ukraine? Learn more about the laws and limitations to wills and inheritance in Ukraine. If you want to draft a will in accordance with the Ukrainian law, you should contact a professional legal advisor, who will be able to help you write up a legally binding document.

The types of will in Ukraine

There are two major types of will recognized by the Ukrainian law: an open will and a secret will. The open will is written by a testator in front of the notary, who attests the will. This type of will is called open, because the content of the will is known to the person, who attests the will. The secret will is written by the testator and given to the notary in a sealed envelope with the testator’s signature on it. Because the notary is not aware of the content of the will, it is called the secret will.

The rules of inheritance

If the deceased person leaves no will, or if the will is recognized as void, the inheritance of all estate left by the deceased follows in the manner constituted by the law: the first line of beneficiaries includes the spouse, children and parents of the deceased; if the testator had no children, spouse and parents, the inheritance goes to the second in line – the siblings and grandparents of the deceased; the third to follow are uncles and aunts; fourth in line are those inheritors, who lived with the testator for at least 5 years; the fifth line includes other relatives up to the sixth cousins.

A right to the Reserved Portion

When drafting the will, the testator has to remember about the so-called right to reserved portion. Even if they are not mentioned in the will, certain relatives of the testator have a right to reserved portion of the inheritance. The group of relatives entitled to reserved portion includes: children under the age of 18 and older children, who cannot work; a spouse and parents of the deceased if they cannot work. These beneficiaries receive half of the part they are entitled to according to the above mentioned rules of inheritance. For instance, in a situation when a testator leaves all estate to his/ her brother, but at the same time the testator had a spouse and a mother, none of which are working, the inheritance is divided between the three beneficiaries as follows: 50% goes to the brother mentioned in the will and 50% goes to the spouse and the mother – 25% to the spouse and 25% to the mother.

Foreign Inheritors

Non-Ukrainian inheritors cannot own an agricultural property on the territory of Ukraine, even if the real estate was bequeathed to them in the will. It means that the inherited property has to be sold within a year. If the inheritor fails to do so, the real estate might be sold on the grounds of a court decision. Foreigners are entitled to inheriting the agricultural real estate as rent only.

Jessica Stidd is a writer and editor with a wide variety of experience, including writing for websites internationally and editing books on many different subjects and in a variety of formats.  It is very fulfilling for her to edit the writings of people whose first language is not English and need help with their written English, and to help them have their voice shine through to a wider audience.  It inspires Jessica greatly to write about topics that are read all over the world that promote peace and a greater understanding of different cultures.