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Law of succession: social welfare vs. the will of the testator – key topic for discussion at SPILF 2022

7 June 2022
«Наследственное право: социальная функция vs воля наследодателя» обсудят на ПМЮФ-2022

Inheritance law in Russia has long been associated with addressing social problems, such as the need to provide for disabled citizens who were dependent on the testator during their lifetime. At the 10th St. Petersburg International Legal Forum, which will be held from 29 June to 1 July, a session will be held devoted to inheritance law and attaining a balance between social welfare and the will of the testator.

If a will excludes people close to the testator who would otherwise receive an inheritance, then irrespective of the testator’s will, these dependants are entitled to a compulsory share of the testator’s estate.

If the testator has not left a will, the institution of inheritance by disabled dependants steps in. Even the institution of legal succession is usually talked about in terms of social welfare.

As a result of the socio-economic transformation that started in Russia in the late 1980s and the beginning of the changeover to an individualistic society, approaches to the relationship between inheritance law and social welfare were revised. As a result, the legislator deemed that the compulsory inheritance laws could be amended.

«There is still a critical debate going on in the academic community over the scope and nature of ’social’ payments from inherited estates. Russian and foreign experts need to find a balance between the autonomy of the testator’s will and the social expectations of their relatives,» Lidia Mikheeva, session moderator, Secretary of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation explained.

The importance of inheritance law is related not only to the need of the individual to transfer their estate to their descendants and to provide for family members in need, but also to provisions such as inheritance contracts and inheritance funds that ensure that the will of the deceased is enforced.

People are motivated by their desire to transfer their estate to descendants, provide for dependents, and «posthumously» influence the behaviour of their relatives and the fate of their assets. These and many other issues will be discussed by experts in a session at the 10th St. Petersburg International Legal Forum, whose main theme is «Staying within the Law».

Official Forum website: