Transfer of ownership from parents to children - legal procedure in Serbia

Legal advice

Transfer of ownership from parents to children - legal procedure in Serbia

Every family has situations when it becomes necessary to change property ownership between family members at some point. Depending on the occasion for the transfer of ownership and whether there are multiple first-degree heirs in the family, the procedure varies. Below, find all possible ways of transferring ownership from experienced real estate agents and be prepared for this life step.

Transfer of ownership of property to a child by inheritance

The most common practice in our legal system concerning the transfer of ownership of an apartment is inheritance. After the property owner's death, it is inherited by their spouse and children, with the spouse being allocated half while the children divide the value of the other half of the property among themselves.

If the deceased's spouse is not alive, the probate procedure is initiated among the first-degree heirs, i.e., the children. They must declare whether they accept the inheritance or renounce it in favor of other family members.

If it involves first-degree heirs, they do not pay tax on the inherited property, except in cases where the property is unequally divided among the children by agreement. Then, the one who received more pays tax on the difference.

Deed of gift of property

When the transfer of ownership of property to a child occurs during the parent's lifetime, such a procedure is defined by a deed of gift.

According to its mandatory form, this agreement must include the so-called “Animus donandi” (reason for the gift). This can be gratitude, a reward gift, a gift based on moral duty, and the like. By stating the intention, it is implied that the donor (parent) is giving the apartment to the recipient (child) without expecting anything in return. After drafting, the deed of gift must be signed before a notary public and registered in the cadastre. As with inheritance, these are first-degree heirs, so no tax is paid.

If, for example, the gift is given to only one child, such a situation can lead to disputes after the parent's death, when other children may initiate legal proceedings if they believe the inheritance has disadvantaged them.

An interesting detail is that this agreement can be contested by the donor if the law recognizes a good reason for it. Some of the reasons the parent may cite to revoke their initial decision include: a change in the child's behavior towards them, the parent's poor financial situation, and the like.

The life estate deed between parent and child

The life estate deed is another common way of transferring ownership of property from parents to children in Serbia. Unlike the previously mentioned methods, this is an agreement that obliges both parties. The provider of maintenance (child) undertakes to support the recipient of maintenance (parent) until their death, after which, in return, they acquire ownership rights over the parent's property.

This agreement differs significantly from a deed of gift in that the apartment covered by the life maintenance agreement is not taken into account when determining the violation of the right to a compulsory share in the inheritance. This means that the other heirs, if any, cannot initiate legal proceedings against a decision based on this agreement.

We hope that with this text, we have clarified any doubts you may have had regarding this topic. If, however, you are selling real estate, within the family or outside, agents and lawyers from the City Expert company are at your disposal with complete legal support and finding buyers in the shortest possible time.

Ana Dajević
Ana Dajević
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