Probate procedure, final will and life contract
2021-05-14 by Serbian Immigration
Allow everyone to freely dispose of their property upon death. If no will, testament or life contract is left, the probate procedure will be carried out and the property will be distributed to the heirs in accordance with the law.

Are you completely free to dispose of assets, or are your heirs protected just in case you don’t have any assets? You can find the answer below.

Inheritance form

In the Republic of Serbia, these are the following forms of inheritance:

Legal succession

This form of inheritance can only be used when there is no other applicable form of inheritance.
More precisely, if:

  • The deceased has not left the will, or the will is later withdrawn, or the will is invalid;
  • The legal heir specified in the will does not want to inherit or is not allowed to inherit, and there is no substitute person specified in the will;
  • If the court cannot determine the existence, form or content of the suicide note, the suicide note is destroyed, lost or hidden;
  • The deceased will only dispose of part of his property in his final will;
  • Only the bequestee was named in the will, and only part of the property was abandoned in the final will.
  • Inheritance according to law means to classify the legal heir as a hereditary organization. Relatives from the first order inherit first, if they are not able or do not want to inherit assets, relatives from the second order will inherit, and so on.

This form of inheritance is most common in the Republic of Serbia.

Mandatory inheritance

The legislature of the Republic of Serbia also recognizes the right of forced inheritance. This institution is a top priority. It can only be applied after the deceased’s property is protected and preserved as the legal heir.

It must be pointed out that under strict legal conditions, heirs can be excluded from compulsory inheritance through will clauses. In this case, the legal heirs will not inherit any assets.

2.Inheritance based on a will

A will is a unilateral, strictly personal recallable statement. The deceased will use his assets to dispose of it in the event of death, and will also make other statements about the deceased. The intention that constitutes the final will must be serious and true, with free will.

The will must follow the strict formal rules determined by the law, otherwise it will not have legal effect. In addition, the will can be deposited with the competent authority.

In addition to the aforementioned forms of inheritance, the “Inheritance Law” of the Republic of Serbia also provides for other ways of disposing of assets upon death.

Foreigners and heritage in Serbia

The Inheritance Law of the Republic of Serbia stipulates that under reciprocity conditions, foreigners should inherit Serbian assets under the same conditions as domestic citizens (please find more information about reciprocity in our blog “Purchasing Property in Serbia”) .

If you live abroad, your status is not necessary during the probate process or in the event of a final will. You can hire a lawyer from Serbia to represent you in the probate process in Serbia, and you can also prove the declaration of succession abroad in the following way.

Inheritance statement

Upon death, the property of the deceased is transferred to the heir. Heirs can provide a declaration of succession, otherwise they must obtain a subpoena to go abroad for a hearing, which can be time-consuming. The heir can also make a statement that he refuses to accept the assets of the deceased, because the statement is regarded as a gift deed, which will have some tax implications.

If you live abroad, you can certify the power of attorney and the declaration of inheritance to the Embassy of the Republic of Serbia in your country. It is necessary to sign the power of attorney and/or the text of the succession statement in person, and contact the consular department of your country’s embassy.

After certification, it is recommended that the power of attorney and the declaration of succession be handed over to a lawyer in the Republic of Serbia, who will further represent you in the probate procedure in Serbia without you being present.


Lifetime Property Distribution and Distribution Agreement

During their lifetime, ancestors can dispose of their assets and distribute them to future generations. All descendants who are allowed to inherit under the inheritance rules of the law must agree to this disciplinary action in order for the agreement to be effective. Even if one of the offspring agrees, or the offspring dies before the ancestor, in some other cases, the agreement is still valid. It should be emphasized that the assets specified in the agreement are not the subject of the probate procedure. This agreement must be in written form and certified by a notary, otherwise the agreement is invalid.

Life care contract

The contract requires one party to take care of the entire life cycle, and then bury the other party in the event of death, and the other party must transfer the ownership of some of its assets to others. Participate in the first party. The duties of caring for someone include providing food, clothing, caring for the elderly, paying for medical expenses, etc. The agreement must also be in written form and certified by a notary, otherwise the agreement is invalid.

It is important to point out that the agreement is complicated and will cause long-term court litigation in practice. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you consult with a Serbian lawyer before making a decision.

Probate procedure

The probate procedure can be executed by the court, and the probate court can hand it over to a notary, which is the most common situation in practice.

Probate procedure

The cost of the probate procedure must follow the cost. The following is a summary of all costs incurred due to the probate process.


The costs incurred consist of the cost of writing the death certificate. If the court rules that a notary public will carry out this procedure, then the cost determined by the official notary fee will also be required.


The estate court shall incur estate tax from the day when the final decision is made in the probate procedure. The law also clearly stipulates tax incentives and discounts.

lawyer fee

If you decide to hire a lawyer as a lawyer, you should consider other costs.
Since inheritance law is a very complex field, every time you decide to make a will, reach any agreement or start the probate process, we recommend that you hire a legal lawyer with expertise in the field of inheritance law.