Inheritance Law in Austria - English-Speaking Local Law Firm
Inheritance Law in AustriaUpdated on Tuesday 01st November 2022
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Our lawyers in Austria can help persons draft a will or get an inheritance, in respect with the applicable laws. The Inheritance Law in Austria mentions 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. In this article you will find out some of the formalities imposed in this field, from a legal point of view.
Types of wills in Austria
According to the Inheritance Law in Austria, natural persons can easily make a will, including foreigners living in this country. A notarial will can be written or oral, and the respective mentions can be made in front of the notary. The judicial one can be expressed in the same way, orally or in writing, but the private one requires 3 witnesses and the signature of the person in question.
Regardless of the type of will you want to make in Austria, we recommend legal help from our Austrian lawyers. With experience in this field, our specialists can prepare the necessary documents and take care of formalities from a legal point of view.
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.
Pensions in Austria according to the Inheritance Law
The same set of laws mentions 3 types of benefits for people who have lost their husband or wife. Let's review them to be able to understand what it is about:
- Funeral expenses grant - addressed to those who cannot afford the funeral costs. The expenses can be around EUR 430 and can be obtained with the help of the sickness insurance fund in Austria.
- Widow's or widower's pension - It is a pension for the surviving spouse, who is at least 35 years old at the time of the loss of the partner. The help is mainly offered if the family has a minor child.
- Orphan's pension - Financial aid is provided to children until they reach the age of 18. In the case of students, the age increases up to 27 years.
Our local specialists can provide in-depth information on this topic. On the other hand, our immigration lawyers in Austria are at your service with legal advice if the inheritance is a matter of foreign affairs.
How is the inheritance Law in Austria applied?
The law mentioned above is valid for Austrian citizens, and Austrian jurisdiction applies only to properties in this country. However, the respective legislation is not applied to movable properties that belong to the state because they fall under the jurisdiction of the country of origin of the citizen.
In addition, you must also consider the inheritance tax in Austria, at the time of the distribution of assets after the death of a person. Our lawyers in Austria are at your disposal for specialized help in this matter.
In addition, our immigration lawyers in Austria can help those who want to relocate to this country. We are at your disposal if you want details about immigration to Austria.
How much is the inheritance tax in Austria?
The inheritance tax in Austria has been abolished in 2008. Even if this inheritance tax in Austria has been eliminated, there is still a property transfer tax, which has undergone various changes over time. Here are some interesting aspects in this regard:
- Any donation made by the family that exceeds the value of EUR 50,000 must be notified to the authorities. Otherwise, the authorities can apply penalties.
- A real estate transfer tax of 0.5% applies to properties with a value of at least EUR 250,000, but if the value is exceeded by EUR 150,000, the rate increases to 2%.
- A real estate transfer tax of 3.5% is applied for values higher than those mentioned above.
- With the help of double taxation treaties signed by Austria, double taxation of inheritance can be avoided.
We invite you to discuss more about inheritance tax in Austria with one of our Austrian attorneys. Also, those interested in immigration to Austria can solicit the support of our specialists.
Contact our law firm in Austria for complete assistance for inheritance and estate planning matters.