Why is it necessary to file certificates of civil status with the Polish inheritance court?

Why is it necessary to file certificates of civil status with the Polish probate court?

Certificates of civil status (both Polish and foreign, e.g. English, Italian, Slovakian, French) are official documents that record events affecting a person’s civil status: birth, death and marriage. If they have been written correctly, they have the value of an exclusive proof.

This means that, for example, a birth certificate is the only possible proof that a person was born on a specific date and in a specific place.

The civil status record also makes it possible to establish a person’s family situation (i.e., marital status) and, in particular, to prove descent from certain parents. The use of other evidence in this respect is not in principle admissible.

Civil status records do not have a fixed period of validity from the moment they are issued. For example, a copy of a marriage certificate drawn up 40 years before the trial has formally the same probative value as a copy drawn up one month ago. Older documents, however, must be carefully checked to ensure that they are up to date: in the space of 40 years, divorces, separations, annulments, etc. can occur.

Birth certificates may also be amended as a result of adoption, denial of paternity, correction of inaccuracies, or amendment of the birth certificate for obvious clerical errors.

The exceptional nature of the succession procedure requires the presentation of the original death certificate of the testator.

Foreign civil status certificates have the same probative value as Polish documents. It is not necessary to transcribe them or enter them into Polish civil registers. However, it is necessary to present foreign civil status documents with a certified translation by a sworn translator.

Our law firm specializes in inheritance cases and can speed up the process as much as possible thanks to its experience in cooperating with the authorities and working with interpreters and bailiffs. The cost of legal advice in such cases starts at 200 euros.

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Inheritance in Poland