Inheritance by Testament. Your Rights. Inheritance by Law

Inheritance by testament and inheritance by law are two types of inheritance envisaged by the current legislation of Ukraine.


Section 1. Inheritance by Testament.

A testament is an individual’s order in the event of his/her death.

  1. A testament must be personally signed by the testator. If a person cannot personally sign the testament (due to illness or physical disability), the text on his / her behalf is signed by another person in his / her presence.
  2. The testament must be notarized or, in the absence of a notary public, be certified by a representative of the local self-government body or by other official or officer:


  • If you are in a locality, the testament can be certified by an authorized official of the relevant local self-government body.
  • If you are in a hospital, the text of the testament may be certified by the head physician.
  • If you are on a ship, then the testament can be certified by the captain of this ship.

(Your Rights. Articles 1251, 1252 of the Civil Code of Ukraine.)


  1. The rights of the testator
  • The testator may appoint one or several natural persons as his / her heirs, regardless of whether he or she has kinship or family relations with these persons.
  • The testator may deprive any person from among heirs of his / her inheritance rights by law.
  • The testator has the right to at any time cancel the testament and write a new one.

The Managing Partner of the Rezultat law firm, Maxim Polishkevych, comments on inheritance by testament,

“There are abusive statistics. Posthumously, they conduct a psychiatric examination and on the basis of evidence of witnesses and medical certificates, often counterfeited, the examination establishes the inability of the testator and the invalidity of the testament. There are occasions when there emerge marriage certificates dated a day or two before the testator died.”

  • The testator has the right to make a secret testament.

A secret testament is the one which is certified by a notary without reading its content. The testator submits a testament in a sealed envelope to the notary, the envelope is signed by the testator. After the death of the testator, the notary assigns the announcement day of the testament’s contents.

But there is a category of people who, regardless of the testament’s contents, have the portion that would belong to each of them in the case of inheritance by law:

  • Infants, juveniles, adult disabled children of the testator.
  • A disabled widow (widower).
  • Disabled parents.


Section 2. Inheritance by Law.

In addition to the testament, you can get inheritance by law, but there is a procedure as to who has the primary right to the testator’s property.

  • The first-order heirs are children of the testator, including those conceived during his life and born after his death, the spouse who outlived the testator, and the parents.
  • The second-order heirs are brothers and sisters of the testator, his / her grandmother and grandfather, both from the father’s and mother’s side.
  • The third-order heirs are the full uncle and aunt of the testator.
  • The fourth-order heirs are persons who lived with the testator as one family at least five years before the time of opening the inheritance.
  • The fifth-order heirs are other relatives of the testator up to the sixth degree of kinship inclusive.

Maxim Polishkevych comments,

“The notary checks if there are the first-order successors; if there is one of the first-order heirs, the right of inheritance is given to the first order. If there are no first-order heirs, the notary checks whether there are second-order heirs. Such a sequence of heir defining is fixed by the Civil Code of Ukraine.”


Change in the sequence of inheritance:

You can get the right to inheritance at the level of an order that has the right to inherit if you have for a long time taken care of and provided assistance to the testator, who was in a helpless state due to illness, old age, etc.

Acceptance of the inheritance

The heir, by testament or by law, has the right to accept or not to accept the inheritance. The timeframe for inheritance acceptance is six months. In order to accept the inheritance, one should submit a statement of inheritance acceptance to a notary (or in rural settlements, to an authorized official of the relevant local self-government body).


Key points:

  • The statement of inheritance acceptance is submitted by the heir personally or, on behalf of the minor or disabled person, it’s submitted by his / her parents (adoptive parents), guardian.
  • If the heir did not submit an application of inheritance acceptance within the specified term (6 months), he/she is deemed to have not accepted it and should already prove his / her right in court.

Maxim Polishkevych comments,

“In the case of missing the inheritance acceptance deadline, it is important to prove in court the validity of the reason for your missing. Common causes of missing the deadline are: indifference, a financial situation (failure to pay the cost of the inheritance registration), the legislative ignorance, living in another locality; but none of these reasons is considered valid. So, first, make sure you submit your application to the notary for registration of the inheritance, as you will be able to pay for the notary’s services later.”

Cost of inheritance registration:

1. he state fee for the issuance of the inheritance rights certificate                                          UAH 34

(2 non-taxable minimum  incomes of citizens in accordance with the subparagraph “h” of paragraph 3 of Article 3 of the Decree of the        Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine “On State Duty” No. 7-93 of January 21, 1993.)

2. The blank certificate of the right to inheritance  UAH 6
3. Verification of information on the presence or  absence of a notarized testament and an inheritance contract or a filed inheritance case and the issued inheritance rights certificates with provision of extracts or an information sheet.

(In case of a filed inheritance case, the notary checks according to the Inheritance Registry data the presence of a filed inheritance case, an inheritance contract, a testament.)

 UAH 51


(subparagraph 3.4 of the Decree of the Ministry

of Justice of Ukraine No. 1810/05

4. Formation in the Inheritance Registry of one record of the issued inheritance rights certificate or its duplicate with provision of a relevant extract. UAH 51

(subparagraph 3.3 of the Decree of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine No. 1810/05  dated July 07, 2011.)

5. The fee for the performed by the notaries during notary actions search of the information  on registered property rights, their encumbering the object of immovable property in the State Registry of Real-Estate Property Rights. UAH 68

(paragraph 1 of the Decree of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine No. 1994/5 dated December 29, 2012.)

6. A state fee for the state registration of ownership of real property (i.e. payment for the entry into the State Registry of Real-Estate Rights to Immovable Property). UAH 119

(7 non-taxable minimum incomes of citizens in accordance with the subparagraph “y” of paragraph 6 of Article 3 of the Decree of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine “On State Duty” No. 7-93 of January 21, 1993.)

7. Provision of information from the State Registry of Real-Estate Property Rights in the form of an extract. UAH 120

(Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine No. 1204 dated November 21 2012.)

8. Issuance of an extract from the State Registry of Moving Property Encumbrances.


(Issue of the certificate of inheritance rights for property which is subject to registration is carried out by a notary after submission of documents regarding the belonging of this property to the testator and verification of the absence of prohibition or seizure of the property. This is provided by a sub-clause 4.15 of the Notarial Acts Performance Procedure by Notaries of Ukraine.)

UAH 34



(Annex to the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine No. 830 dated July 5, 2004.)

Total inheritance registration is UAH 483


Regardless of the method of inheritance (inheritance by law, inheritance by testament), the heir also gets the debts proportionally to the received inheritance; but remember that except the right to accept inheritance, the heir has also the right to refuse it.


Reed more: Your Rights. Marriage Contract. Distribution of Property
Reed more: We Are Pleased to Inform You of Two Important News
Reed more: Legal Consultations Are Being Held at Cherkasy CCI
Reed more: How to Get a Land Plot. To renew a lease agreement