It is often assumed that a forced share of an inheritance is only valid if the succession is based on a will. But the Polish Civil Code does not preclude heirs from seeking a forced share when succeeding under the code. This applies primarily to situations where the testator gave away significant portions of his property or made a specific bequest of them.
The set of parties who can benefit from inheritance and gift tax exemptions will expand. The exemption will now apply to persons who are or have been in a foster family, a family-style children’s home, a care and educational institution, or a regional care and therapeutic institution, as well as persons forming a foster family, running a family-style children’s home, or working with children in a care and educational institution or a regional care and therapeutic institution.
A minor may become an heir either by will or by law. Often the appointment to an inheritance results from earlier waiver by the parents (due to debts of the estate or a desire to pass on the inheritance to further heirs). However, a seemingly simple succession becomes complicated if a minor heir does not live in Poland.
Work is underway in the Parliament on a government bill to amend the Civil Code and the Civil Procedure Code in a way that would significantly modify the rules for heirs’ liability for debts inherited from the decedent. The first reading of the bill has already been held and it is expected to be approved by the Sejm soon.