Legal inheritance in Romania

It is very important to know what will happen to the assets that a person owns after his death, so that the potential heirs know about the rules that they have to follow after this unfortunate event. There are several types of inheritance, but we will stop at the concept of legal inheritance.

What is the difference between a legal inheritance and a testamentary inheritance?

Testamentary inheritance refers to the time when the deceased person (deceased) made a will up to the time of death that is a document related to the assets he owned and the regime he wishes to have after death. On the other hand, legal inheritance refers to the fact that the deceased did not write a will related to the way of dividing his own wealth.

In Romania, the rule is represented by the legal inheritance and we only exceptionally discuss the testamentary one.

What are the categories of heirs?

There are several classes of heirs:

  • First Class: Descendants (i.e. children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren)
  • Second Class: Privileged ascendants (i.e. father and mother of the deceased) and privileged collaterals (brothers and sisters of the deceased, including their descendants up to and including the 4th degree – i.e. nephews and nieces of the deceased and children of such nephews)
  • Third class: ordinary ascendants (i.e. grandparents, great-grandparents)
  • Fourth class: ordinary collaterals (uncles, aunts, first cousins, great uncles/aunts – brothers or sisters of the deceased’s grandparents)

How is an inheritance divided?

Three principles guide the way of dividing the inheritance in Romania:

  • The principle of calling relatives to inherit in the order of classes of legal heirs

The classes presented above have a predetermined order by the law. So, assuming there are people from the first class who can inherit, it will no longer be relevant if there are heirs in the other classes. The inheritance will be divided directly between them and the surviving spouse.

  • The principle of proximity of the degree of kinship between heirs of the same class

When there is a class to inherit, and within the class there are several heirs, it will be necessary to determine who is closest in rank to the deceased.

For example, if there is a child and a grandchild, the child will be a 1st degree relative and the 2nd degree grandchild, the child takes priority and will share the inheritance with the surviving spouse.

  • The principle of equality between relatives of the same class and of the same degree called to inherit

Inside the class, we have three children, a grandchild and a great-grandchild. Depending on the degree of kinship, the three children will inherit, together with the surviving spouse, and the children will receive equal shares.

Miruna-Casiana Dumitrașcu

Content Creator @ R&R Partners

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