Inheritance Law in Bulgaria

Information on inheritance law for resident foreigners and their families with assets in and outside of Bulgaria...

Matters of inheritance are regulated by the Succession Act. According to Bulgarian law, the following ways of inheritance exist:

  • Inheritance by law
  • Testamentary inheritance/Inheritance by will

Inheritance by law

Inheritance by law is regulated by Bulgarian legislation and is applicable under the following circumstances:

  • If the foreigner owns immovable property located in Bulgaria
  • If the foreigner owns movable property and has a habitual residence in Bulgaria

The foreigner may choose for the inheritance to be entirely arranged by the law of the country of which he is a national citizen at the moment he made his choice.

Reserved heirs and intestacy

In the case of intestacy - a person dying without a will - the following heirs (in the order below) are entitled to receive a part of the inheritance:

  • children and the spouse
  • the parents and the spouse (if the deceased has left no children or other descendants)
  • the ascendants from second or higher degree and the spouse (if the deceased has left parents)
  • brothers and sisters and the spouse (if the deceased has left no children and no parents)

A person may not inherit by law or by will if they were not yet conceived at the moment of opening the inheritance, if they were conceived but did not survive birth or if they are not permitted to inherit under special provisions of Bulgarian law.

Bulgarian Inheritance Tax

Inheritance tax is levied on:

  • the properties of Bulgarian citizens in the country or abroad inherited by law or will
  • the properties of foreign citizens in Bulgaria inherited by law or will

Inheritance tax is paid by the heirs (whether they inherit by law or by will). Inheritance tax is not paid by the surviving spouse and by lineal heirs without restriction.

Each heir must submit a declaration to the municipality in which the testator had their last residence. If they had no residence in Bulgaria then the declaration is submitted to the municipality of the area where most of the property comprising the inheritance is.

The Inheritance tax rate is determined by each municipality independently, within the following limits:

0,4 % - 0,8 % brothers, sisters and their children: for a share of the inheritance over 250,000 Bulgarian levs
3,3 % - 6,6% Other cases: for a share of the inheritance over 250,000 Bulgarian levs
Information supplied by Tax Com Ltd, 5 Nikola Vaptsarov Str., Floor 5, Office 501, Varna 9005 Tel: 052 712 381 / 052 712 382, Fax: 052 712 383 e-mail Website Managing Director: Mr Delyan Sarov Copyright © 2013 Tax Com Ltd - All Rights Reserved