Succession

Where should a person entitled to succeed start?

To register an estate in your name, it is necessary to submit an application for initiation of succession proceedings to a notary. The application can be submitted by:

  • a person entitled to succeed,
  • a creditor of the bequeather,
  • any other interested person.

In accordance with law, a person who is entitled to succeed but wants to renounce a succession also has to submit the application. The term for renunciation is limited: it is three months from the moment the successor becomes aware or ought to become aware of the death of the bequeather and of his or her right of succession. Accordingly, if a person entitled to succeed does not submit an application for renunciation of a succession within three months, the successor shall be deemed to have accepted the succession, in other words, the person becomes a successor.

Which claims by the tax authority are inheritable?

Inheritable claims are:

  • tax arrears,
  • interests due,
  • claims for damage and
  • civil claims.

How to check whether a bequeather has any liabilities towards the Estonian Tax and Customs Board?

In order to check whether the bequeather has any liabilities, please contact us by email eraklient@emta.ee or on the phone +372 880 0811.

How to find out all the obligations forming part of the estate?

A successor has the right to request an inventory of the estate. In the course of making an inventory a bailiff appointed by a notary finds out all the rights and obligations related to the estate. Furthermore, making an inventory lays limitation on the responsibility of a successor for performing obligations in respect of the estate, meaning that successors do not have to perform the obligations forming part of the estate out of their own property.

An inventory of the estate is obligatory if a successor is a person with restricted active legal capacity, a local government or the state.

What to do if a bequeather has liabilities towards the Estonian Tax and Customs Board?

The tax authority will not require the fulfilment of obligations forming part of the estate before a succession certificate is issued in the course of succession (which serves as a proof concerning successors and the size of their shares of the estate).

Inherited tax liabilities are reflected in the Estonian Tax and Customs Board’s accounting system in the name of the bequeather until they will be entered into the successor’s accounting for taxation purposes (on the basis of the succession certificate). There is no automatic transference of claims from a bequeather’s to successor’s accounting.

A successor has the right to perform a bequeathers obligations on a voluntary basis before a succession certificate is issued.

For further information on the payment of inherited claims requested by the Estonian Tax and Customs Board, please turn to the contact person of the debt proceedings division of the service department: Ave Alas, ave.alas@emta.ee, +372 676 2065.

What if a successor is not able to pay the full amount of inherited liabilities?

Inherited tax liabilities can be paid in instalments as scheduled payments. For this purpose, an application for payment in instalments has to be submitted to the Estonian Tax and Customs Board. Further information on the webpage "Payment of tax arrears in instalments".

What will happen if an estate is insufficient for performing the obligations forming part of the estate?

If in the course of an inventory it turns out that the estate is insufficient for performing the obligations forming part of the estate and the successor does not agree to perform the obligations out of his/her own property, the successor is required to submit promptly an application for the declaration of bankruptcy of the estate to the county court of his/her residence.

After completion of the bankruptcy proceedings, the Estonian Tax and Customs Board shall write off the bequeather’s tax liabilities which have not been paid in the course of the bankruptcy proceedings.

In certain cases, the Estonian Tax and Customs Board can write off inherited tax liabilities before bankruptcy proceedings. For example in the cases where the Estonian Tax and Customs Board is a sole creditor in succession.

For writing off inherited tax liabilities, a signed application (free format) in the Estonian language has to be submitted to the Estonian Tax and Customs Board by email (emta@emta.ee) or by post (Lõõtsa 8a, 15176 Tallinn), accompanied by:

  • a copy of succession certificate,
  • a copy of inventory of an estate drawn up in the course of making an inventory,
  • a copy of the agreement of estate division, if there is any.

Additional information

More information on succession can be found:

 
26.09.2019