Estates in a foreign Country
One of the fundamental consular functions is to protect the rights and interests of citizens of the Republic of Serbia in cases of succession mortis causa in the territory of the receiving State, in accordance with the laws and regulations of that state (Article 5 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations).
The consul will act in line with the above Article of the Vienna Convention if the deceased was a citizen of the Republic of Serbia, or if the inheritors are citizens of the Republic of Serbia who are not resident in the country of location of the deceased's estate.
If the citizen of the R. of Serbia has relevant information about the property abroad left behind the deceased relative, he/she may contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to verify the existence of the inheritance. The written request, which is submitted in a free form, must state the information on the deceased, the relationship with the deceased, the relevant data indicating the existence of the inheritance abroad, as well as the contact data. If the existence of the inheritance is established, the claimant shall be informed of the conditions of representation of the competent diplomatic and consular mission and the necessary documentation, which contains the following:
- appropriate excerpts from the Civil Record which confirm the kinship with the testator, ie prove their legal interest in submitting the request;
- all relevant data on the deceased person (date and place of death, address of residence abroad, name of the company in which the deceased person was employed, marital status, etc.);
- all information with available evidence on the movable/immovable property of the deceased person abroad (real estate, bank accounts, life insurance);
- information on whether the deceased person may have left a will;
- decision on inheritance regarding the deceased’s property in Serbia (if any);
- signed and certified power of attorney for the acting diplomatic and consular mission of the Republic of Serbia (power of attorney form, with detailed instructions on verification, is provided to the claimant in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs);
- proof of payment of the administrative fee.
Diplomatic and consular missions do not have the legal capacity to represent a party in terms of providing legal services before foreign courts. If circumstances and regulations of the receiving country so require, in certain cases, it is necessary to hire a local lawyer. The appointment of a lawyer is done via a diplomatic-consular mission with the prior consent of the party. The costs of hiring are reimbursed by deducting from the decided amount of inheritance, ie. by heir.
Additional information regarding the exercise and protection of inheritance rights abroad can be obtained by contacting the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Department for Consular Affairs) on the following telephone number: (011) 306 8328, every working day from 9.00 to 15.00 hours.
Inheritance matters in Serbia
Regarding inheritance matters conducted before a competent court in the Republic of Serbia, heirs living abroad may make depositions in a diplomatic/consular mission concerning inheritance or authenticate special powers of attorney granted for the purpose of making depositions concerning inheritance.
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