The death of a person has legal consequences, i.e. termination of certain rights and duties of the deceased, and transfer of further rights and duties to other persons.
In case of a person's death it is the notary who conducts the succession procedure based on assignment of the competent court.
The notary acts upon assignment of a court as a court commissioner and prepares all necessary documents for the issuance of court resolutions and drafts for court resolutions on succession, or in cases where the statutory requirements are met, the notary can issue a certificate of succession in his name.
Acts of the assigned notary are deemed as acts of the court.
Within a succession procedure one cannot choose a notary voluntarily, since only the court is the authority that appoints a notary based on work schedule specified in advance, in order to maintain impartiality and objectivity of decision-making of the court.
Generally, the procedure commences without petition, based on certificate of death that is sent by the registry office to the competent court that consequently appoints the competent notary. Later on the assigned notary makes all necessary acts during the procedure, while one of the first steps shall be to contact the person who took care of/arranged the funeral of the deceased person/testator.
The vast majority of succession procedures are performed by notaries without any intervention of the court, thus relieving the court from workload with non-adversarial procedures.
Succession in EU countries:
EU citizens have information on inheritance law of member countries in their national languages at www.successions-europe.eu. This page that provides answers to the most important questions relating succession in all 28 member countries of the EU, was launched and is operated by the Council of Notaries of the European Union (CNUE) with the support of the European Commission.
Here you can find answers to the most important questions relating succession in 22 official languages of the EU and in Croatian language:1. Which authority of the member country is competent to deal with succession, which authority is to be addressed
2. How can you register a testament
3. What are the restrictions of a testator's freedom when drawing up a testament
4. When and how you become an heir
5. Who and how much is inherited in case of lack of testament
6. What is the governing law and whether one can choose the law to be applied in case of inheritance
7. What tax reliabilities result from succession
European Certificate of Succession:
Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council of the EU no. 650/2012 introduced the Certificate of Succession into our legal order. The purpose of this regulation, as well as of the European Certificate of Succession is to make the process of succession settlement with international element easier to EU citizens. The regulation enabled to manage succession procedure after an EU citizen at once, before one authority according to one law.
The purpose of the certificate itself is to be used by heirs, legatees with direct rights to inheritance and the executors of testament or administrators of the estate who need to exercise their position or rights in another member country.
The certificate is effective in all member countries without the need of any special procedures.