How can I get inheritance in Russia if I live in the U.S.?

Process of getting inheritance in Russia if you live in the U.S. or other countries.

According to the Russian Federation law, your country of citizenship, current country of residence, or being a stateless person does not inhibit you from receiving inheritance from Russia. Anyone living abroad whether you are a Russian citizen or not can get inheritance in Russia when that situation is applicable to you. With help from Russian Agency you can receive your inheritance (or decline it) without traveling to Russia, done completely by mail.
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If the person who died didn’t have a will, the inheritance will be distributed according to the Russian law. It is very common for Russian citizens to not have a will. In most cases inheritance is distributed according to the law. According to Russian law people first in line to inherit, have a right to receive inheritance despite the deceased person having a will or not. People who are considered first in line by Russian law are:
  • A spouse (husband or wife) who was officially married to the deceased person at the time of death.
  • Children of the deceased person, whether blood related or adopted.
  • Parents of the deceased person, whether blood related or having adopted.
  • A spouse who was unable to work and dependent on the deceased spouse and had a common-law marriage. This also applies to other dependent unemployable relatives when younger than 55 years for women and 60 years for men. Dependents must be able to prove that they were dependent on the deceased person for at least one year before the death.
All of the above mentioned people qualify for inheritance regardless of whether they were living with the deceased person at the time of death. Parents who had lost full custody of the child are not eligible to receive any inheritance.
According to the Russian law, despite having a will, at least 50% of the inheritance will be divided among the first in line.
In Russian law there are 7 lines for the order of distributing the inheritance. If no one is first in line to inherit then it will go to the second line and so on. Also, there is a certain order of how the inheritance is divided into shares between inheritors.
We highly recommend consulting a lawyer in Russia to get more information about your specific inheritance situation.
There is a time limit for submitting your claim for inheritance. All inheritors must file their claim within 6 months after the death. This claim must be submitted to the notary public for the specific area where the deceased person’s address is officially registered or the place of living before death. The case will be opened here. (You can find the name and address of the notary public serving the deceased person’s address on the official website of the notary association of that particular region.). After 6 months you do not lose your right to receive inheritance. You can still claim this but the process will be much more complicated and you will need to go to court.
Besides claiming the inheritance, you also have an option to forfeit your portion of the inheritance in favor of another inheritor. Another option is to authorize someone, a lawyer, friend, or relative, via a power of attorney to accept the inheritance and to be your representative regarding all questions related to inheritance.
You can have everything mentioned above done completely by mail. Your personal appearance in Russia is not needed.

How we can help you with this process. 

If you live in the United States, here at Russian Agency we are happy to help you obtain documents relating to handling your inheritance. Regardless of which state you live in, we can assist you. We can process power of attorneys or any other documents which will be valid and accepted in Russia without any other extra steps. We will also take care of shipping your documents directly to the notary public or your representative in Russia.
The processing time varies according to which state you live in. Typically it takes from 2-3 weeks (for Florida and California) up to 6 weeks. For most states the processing fee is $250.00 if you provide us with a word text of the document in Russian or $300.00 if we make the text for you. We do not create legal documents; we use standard templates approved by the Russian Consulate in the U.S.
Please call us (888) 9-Russia or (888) 978-7742  to discuss your particular situation and we can give you the exact price and processing time.

What is the process for obtaining a power of attorney or other documents related to inheritance in the U.S. for use in Russia?

  1. After your request, we will prepare the text of the document in Russian using the personal  information provided by you by email. If you don’t have an address registration in Russia, we will need your permanent residence address in the United States.  The text of the document will be in a special form that includes a standard acknowledgement of the individual according to your state.
  2. We will email you this document for you to print out and sign in front of a notary public in your state. Despite the first part of the document being in Russian, the acknowledgement of the individual is in English and any notary public will be able to certify your signature. You don’t need to search for a Russian speaking notary public. This notarized document will need to be mailed to us. Also, you can have your signature notarized at our offices for free.
  3. We will make the document legal for use in the Russian Federation by obtaining an apostille in your state and translating everything into Russian. All the documents will be bound together and certified by an official notary of the Russian Federation. By doing this the document will be legal for use everywhere in Russia without any further steps. We will provide you with copies of all pages of the finished document.
  4. At your choice, we can ship the finished document to your representative in Russia or directly to notary’s office who is in charge of your inheritance case. This will be a courier delivery with signature required. The shipping fee within Russia is $30.00 for EMS Post or $50.00 for DHL service or if your representative or notary is within Moscow city limits our courier can delivery it for free. Another option is to pick up your document at one of our offices in the U.S. or to have it sent to you via FedEx if you live in America.
In some cases, during the process of accepting or refusing inheritance valid Russian passport(s) are required. If do not have this, we are happy to help you obtain one.
Throughout our years of business, we have encountered many unique situations. We are confident that we can help you no matter what your circumstances are. If you don’t know where to start, please give us a call right away.
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