Generally the acquisition of inheritance in Poland takes place by law on the day of death of the testator (article 922 of the Polish Civil Law Code). From this date all the financial and property rights and obligations, as a rule, are transferred to the heir. There is no need to take up any legal steps. Although if you wish to prove towards third parties and towards the offices, to prove that you are a heir, you will need to apply to the court for a decision which is called ‘a confirmation of acquisition of inheritance’ (stwierdzenie nabycia spadku). This is needed when you for example wish to register yourself as a new owner of a car or real estate or just collect means from the bank account etc. This is a formal and cheap procedure, not complicated and not long lasting, as long as there is no dispute who is the heir. In this case you need to be prepared for a long battle with other ‘heirs’ and this usually requires a lawyer to conduct such a case.
One more issue should be noted. If you are a foreigner and acquire a real estate in Poland, you should check whether a permit issued by Ministry of Internal Affairs is needed. Generally you do not need it if you are a statutory heir (this is regulated by Polish Civil Law Code) and the testator was the owner of perpetual usufructuary for at least 5 years. However there are many exceptions which should be checked in each particular case.
attorney at law