How to sell an apartment in Bulgaria if one of the spouses died

You need to know the legal issues and the specifics of each situation to sell property in Bulgaria if one of the spouses has died. Assistance from Apart Estate will make the process of selling an apartment easier and safer.How to sell an apartment in Bulgaria if one of the spouses died

Is  it possible to sell an apartment if one of the spouses died

Before proceeding with the sale of real estate after the death of a spouse, it is necessary to confirm whether such a deal is possible from a legal point of view. Let's consider several situations:

  • A couple bought an apartment while they were married. No additional agreements were signed. The property was jointly owned. In this case, after the death of the spouse, the partner receives the right to inherit the share of the deceased. If there are no other applicants for the deceased person’s share, the new owner has the full right to sell the apartment.
  • The property was purchased before marriage and belongs to one spouse. In this case, his/ her share is inherited. If there are no other applicants, the entire apartment becomes the property of the living wife or husband. There are no barriers to the sale.
  • There are other people who can apply for inheritance – children, parents, brothers and sisters. In this case, the share of the diseased person, regardless of the size, is distributed in accordance with the will or the order of inheritance determined by the law. The sale is possible only if all the heirs agree to sell or cede their shares.
  • The spouse does not have any rights to the property. Such a situation arises if the marriage took place after the acquisition of an apartment, there is no will and, according to the law, the rights to real estate in Bulgaria are transferred to children or other relatives. In this case, the living spouse cannot sell the apartment – it does not belong to her/ him. A similar situation arises if the couple lived on the basis of a partnership without official marriage.

So, an important indicator of whether it is possible to sell an apartment in Bulgaria after the death of a spouse is the presence of other heirs. This fact is determined in accordance with the inheritance law.

The legislation determines that a will plays a leading role in inheritance in Bulgaria. To be valid, it must be notarized. This is done in two ways. In the first case, the testator announces his will in the presence of a notary and two witnesses. In the second case, he/ she can write the text themselves, sign it and indicate the date of signing. Then the document is transferred in a sealed envelope to a notary who registers it.

If there is no will, the order of inheritance is to be identified. In Bulgaria, this is a well-defined process. The first right belongs to children, a wife or a husband. Then parents, brothers, sisters, and grandparents follow. After them an order of other relatives comes.

In complicated situations, it is the Bulgarian court that establishes the order and the structure of inheritance. This institute is involved if the property belonged to a citizen of Bulgaria or a person with permanent residence status. It is also involved if the real estate is located on the territory of this country.

We would like to draw your attention to the fact that if the deceased spouse was a citizen of another country, the issue of inheritance of property in Bulgaria will still be decided by the Bulgarian court. The application can be submitted at the location of the apartment, or per the request of a foreign court.

Sales procedure

As soon as it becomes clear that there are no obstacles to the apartment’s sale, and all owners have been identified, you can start looking for buyers. The Apart Estate’s employees have great experience in organizing transactions for selling the real estate in Bulgaria and will be your good assistants.

The process of preparing and signing a deal includes several stages:

  • Obtaining a certificate of heirs at the city municipality per the place of residence of the deceased and/ or checking the validity of the will.
  • Searching for potential buyers. Apart Estate includes your apartment in the database, publishes an ad on the website and Internet resources specializing in real estate.
  • Apartment’s demonstration. This stage can be carried out both in the presence of the seller, and without him. Our experts show the flat in real life or online, providing the buyer with up-to-date video and photo materials.
  • Negotiation of the terms of the transaction, including the price. We would like to draw your attention to the fact that many buyers insist on deep discounts when they hear that the apartment to be sold is received by inheritance.

At this stage, we propose to agree on who will cover the debts of the former owner. It often turns out that he/ she owes taxes, support fees, and utility bills. The person, who has entered into the inheritance, even if it is the husband or wife of the deceased, often does not want to deal with their repayment and offers the buyer to pay for them.

  • Preparation of a preliminary agreement and making an advance payment. The contract prescribes responsibilities of the parties, including the seller’s obligation to officially confirm his/ her right to sell the property.
  • Preparation of documents by the seller.
  • Coordination of the timing of the deal, conclusion of the sales’ contract and the implementation of the necessary formalities.
  • Signing documents at the notary for registration of the transaction.

As you can see, the actual process of registering the purchase and sale of an apartment or house in Bulgaria, if one of the spouses has died, does not differ from a regular deal. The changes are more related to the documentary part of the question.

Sales documents

If you want to sell an apartment, part of which once belonged to a deceased spouse or spouse, you need to take care of obtaining a certificate of heirs.

To obtain this certificate, you need to contact the municipality per the last place of residence of the deceased. The document lists all heirs. To receive it, you must submit a death certificate, a receipt for payment for the service, and an application. It will be ready in up to 10 days.

Note that if the diseased owner of the property in Bulgaria did not have the citizenship of this country, had a status of a residence permit or came here on a tourist visa, the certificate will need to be obtained at the place of his legal registration, i.e. in another country.

Another difference is that for such a transaction you will need to submit a will, if any. Its legitimacy must be confirmed.

The package of other documents is standard and includes:

  • Notary act.
  • Certificate of absence of encumbrance.
  • Valid certificate of the tax value of the property.
  • Cadastral plan.
  • Confirmation of the legality of the will.
  • Declaration of the seller’s marital status.

If the seller has married by the moment of the deal, the new spouse may be required to submit his/ her consent to the sale.

The list of documents may be adjusted depending on the terms of the transaction and the specifics of the acceptance of the inheritance. Our experts, as well as a lawyer and a notary, will help you clarify all the documents.

The Apart Estate agency will assist to sell an apartment in Bulgaria in a situation when one of the spouses has died. We will help you find clients, give advice on the preparation of documents, and agree on the date of the transaction with the notary and all the parties involved.


Did you like this article? Share it!

Read more articles