Inheritance Law in Austria

Inheritance Law in Austria

Updated on Wednesday 05th September 2018

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Inheritance-Law-in-Austria.jpgThe Inheritance Law in Austria sets forward the procedures for succession, both in those cases in which the testator has left a will or an inheritance contract and in the case in which the individual did not manage to do so.
The differences between intestate succession (when there is no will), forced heirship and the division of assets according to the will are described in this article by our team of lawyers in Austria.

Succession in case of no will

Intestate succession or intestacy is the situation in which the assets of the deceased are distributed when there is no will. The total assets include both the movable and the immovable assets and they are distributed according to the four recognized classes of heirs:
  • First class: the children of the deceased and their descendants are the first ones to inherit the assets;
  • Second class: the parents of the deceased and their descendants, the brothers and sisters (if any);
  • Third class: the grandparents of the deceased and their descendants, the parents of the individual;
  • Fourth class: the great-grandparents of the deceased, are not to be replaced by their descendants if they are no longer alive when the distribution of assets is made.
When the assets cannot be distributed to any of the four statutory classes, then they become the property of the Republic of Austria.
According to the Inheritance Law, part of the estate must be attributed to the close relatives who are alive. According to the forced heirship principles, the children and grandchildren inherit two thirds and the spouse one third. When there are no children, the spouse is entitled to two thirds and the parents of the deceased to one third. 
Legal representation can be important in case of intestacy or when forced heirship applies. You can choose to reach out to our team of attorneys in Austria if you have any questions.

Succession as per the will

Any individual in Austria can choose to draw up a will, in writing, in order to attribute the proportion of the disposable portion of the estate to whom he desires. Part of the estate is reserved and will be attributed to the children (including adopted ones) and spouse, however, the testator may distribute the remaining estate to other persons.
Our team of lawyers in Austria can help individuals draw up a will. When necessary, we can help prepare the will and the testator will only need to sign in in the presence of witnesses.
Contact our law firm in Austria for complete assistance for inheritance and estate planning matters.