Inheritance in the Republic of Slovenia is regulated by the Inheritance Act (ZD). The subject of inheritance can be things and rights that belong to individuals. The ZD states that it can be inherited either legally or through a will. In this article, we will focus on legal heirs or hereditary orders.

Legal heirs are individuals who inherit the deceased’s property when the deceased dies without leaving a will or when the will is deemed invalid. According to the ZD, the deceased’s descendants include their children, their adopted children and their descendants, their spouse, their parents, the adoptive parent and their relatives, their siblings and their descendants, and their grandparents and their descendants. The aforementioned individuals inherit in the hereditary order, based on their relationship to the deceased. A person of a more distant hereditary order is excluded from inheritance by the heirs of a nearby hereditary order.

The first hereditary order

The first hereditary order includes the descendants and spouse of the deceased, who inherit in equal shares. If the deceased had no children, his spouse does not inherit the entire estate, but the inheritance is transferred to another hereditary order. ZD also acknowledges the right of entry, which means that the portion of the inheritance that would have gone to the deceased earlier if the deceased had survived is divided equally among his children, the deceased’s grandchildren. If one of the grandchildren dies before the deceased, their children inherit the share that would have been theirs if they had been alive at the deceased’s death, in equal shares, and so on for as long as the deceased has descendants.

If the deceased’s spouse, who lacks the means of subsistence, inherits with the other heirs of the first hereditary order, the court may, at their request, decide that the spouse also inherits a portion of the estate that the heirs would inherit by law. The spouse may request an increase in their inheritance share against all or individual co-heirs. If the value of the estate is so small that dividing it would result in a shortage for the spouse, the court may decide that the spouse inherits the entire estate. If other heirs of the first hereditary order who lack the necessary means of subsistence inherit with the deceased’s spouse, the court may, at their request, decide to inherit a portion of the estate that the spouse would otherwise inherit. All or any of the co-heirs may request an increase in the share of the opposite share against the spouse. Individual co-heirs who lack the necessary means of subsistence may also seek an increase in their inheritance share in comparison to other co-heirs. If the value of the estate is so small that dividing it would result in a shortage, the court may decide that all or individual co-heirs inherit the entire estate. When deciding on these claims, the court considers all of the circumstances of the case, particularly the heir’s financial situation and earning capacity, as well as the value of the estate.

Second hereditary order

The second order of inheritance includes the deceased’s parents and spouse, the deceased’s siblings and their descendants, the deceased’s parents and their children, and the deceased’s spouse. The deceased’s parents inherit an equal share of the estate, and the deceased’s spouse inherits the other half of the estate. If the deceased did not have a spouse, the estate is divided equally between the deceased’s parents. If one of the deceased’s parents died before them, their children inherit a portion of the estate if they survive the deceased, as do their children (the deceased’s siblings), grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and descendants, in accordance with the rules applicable to heirs of the deceased. If both of the deceased’s parents died before their, their descendants inherit a portion of the estate that would have gone to each of them if the deceased had lived, as explained above. The deceased’s half-brothers and half-sisters receive an equal share of the father’s inheritance from the father and an equal share of the mother’s inheritance from the mother. True siblings, on the other hand, inherit from the father’s father’s share and the mother’s mother’s share in equal shares with half-brothers and half-sisters. If one of the deceased’s parents died before the deceased, but he left no descendants, the other parent inherits the portion of the estate that would have been theirs if the deceased had lived. If they die before the deceased, their descendants inherit what would otherwise go to one of the parents. If both of the deceased’s parents died before the deceased and left no descendants, the deceased’s surviving spouse inherits the entire estate.

Third hereditary order

The grandparents of the deceased and their descendants are included in the third hereditary order. The deceased’s inheritance is inherited by their grandfathers and grandmothers, who have no descendants or parents, and who have no descendants or spouses. The paternal grandparents receive half of the estate, while the maternal grandparents receive the other half. The grandparents on the same side of the family inherit in equal parts. If one of the deceased’s ancestors died before the deceased, their children, grandchildren, and descendants inherit a portion of the estate that would have gone to them if they had lived, according to the rules that apply if the deceased’s children inherit from the deceased and other descendants. If one party’s grandparents died before the deceased and left no descendants, the other party’s grandparents, their children, grandchildren, and subsequent descendants inherit the portion of the estate that would have gone to them if the deceased had lived.

Special provisions for certain heirs

In the case of adoption, the adoptee and their descendants have the same inheritance rights as the adopter’s children and their descendants. Adoptees and their descendants inherit from other adoptees and their descendants in the case of adoption. At the time of adoption, the adopter and their relatives are the adoptee’s legal heirs. In the case of adoption, the adoptee and their descendants have no legal right to inherit from their parents, descendants, or other relatives, and their parents, descendants, and other relatives also have no legal right to inherit from the adoptee and their descendants.

If the spouse’s marriage to the deceased was divorced or annulled, or if their life together was permanently ended due to the fault of the surviving spouse or in agreement with the deceased, the spouse does not have the right to inherit. If the deceased has filed for divorce or it is established after the deceased’s death that the action was justified, or if their marriage with the deceased is annulled after the deceased’s death for a reason known to the surviving spouse marriages, the spouse loses the right to inherit. If the spouse inherits with the heirs of the second hereditary order, the court may, at their request, decide that the spouse also inherits part of the inheritance that would otherwise be inherited by other heirs or the entire estate, if the value of the inheritance is so small that the spouse, if shared, would inherit nothing. When deciding this, the court considers all of the circumstances of the case, particularly the financial situation and gain of the spouse and other heirs, as well as the value of the estate.

If the parents do not have the necessary means of subsistence and inherit from the deceased’s spouse, the court may, at their request, decide to inherit a portion of the inheritance that the spouse would inherit or the entire estate if the value is so small that sharing would cause scarcity. If the deceased’s parents’ marital union is permanently dissolved and only one of them lacks the necessary means of subsistence, the latter may require an increase in the share of the inheritance against both the spouse and the other deceased’s parents. If one of the deceased’s parents died before the deceased, the survivor who is unable to support themself may seek an increase in their share of the inheritance from the deceased’s heirs. When deciding this, the court considers all of the circumstances of the case, particularly the financial situation and earning capacity of the deceased’s spouse or heirs, as well as the value of the estate.