The inheritance inventory can be replaced by a joint declaration of heirs if statutory conditions are respected

(Judgement of the Supreme Court of the Czech Republic, file no. 21 Cdo 3604/2017 from 25 June 2018)

During probate proceedings, the heirs concluded “a siblings’ agreement on the excluded assets from probate proceedings”. The agreement stipulates that the heirs (two siblings) will not complicate each other the probate proceedings. Despite the agreement, one of the heirs enforced his right to inventory reservation (under such reservation, an heir pays testator’s debts only to the value of acquired inheritance). The District Court ordered to compile an inheritance inventory upon this filing. According to the Court’s resolution, the inventory had to be made in the house exclusively owned by the other heir.

The other heir unsuccessfully appealed against the resolution. However, one question remained: “Could be the siblings’ agreement considered as a joint declaration of heirs replacing the inheritance inventory?”

Both of the lower courts held that if the heir enforces his right to inventory reservation, the court has to order compilation of an inheritance inventory. This inventory could be replaced by a joint declaration of heirs which is made during probate proceedings. According to lower courts’ ruling, the abovementioned siblings’ agreement could not be considered as a joint declaration of heirs. Moreover, the Court of Appeal held that the appeal against the Court’s resolution specifying a place and time of inventory execution is not acceptable, because such resolution is arranging conduct of proceedings. The heir filed an extraordinary appeal to the Supreme Court. In his opinion, the inheritance inventory was unreasonable and purposeless and its execution would represent interference in his property right.