Division of joint property of spouses and division of inheritance

Legal guide

automatic translation from Polish

Property valuation

If there is no amicable division, the question arises how to value the property. What date should you take for a quote? From the moment of the division or from the moment when the statutory jointness ceases (or death in the case of division of the estate)? How should the assets be taken for valuation? Is this the one from the moment of division or maybe earlier? It may happen that a long period of time has passed since divorce or death.

During the procedure for the division of joint property or a division of the estate, the court determines the composition of the property and its value. The value of individual assets is determined according to the prices at the time of the department (i.e. the day of the last hearing).

According to settled case-law, in cases concerning the division of joint property after the cessation of joint property between spouses (or death as regards the division of succession), the state of this property is determined according to the moment of cessation of commonality, and the value according to prices at the time of division. (this view was expressed, for example, in the decision of the Supreme Court of 27 August 1979 (III CRN 137/79). The Supreme Court made a similar statement in its resolution of 19 May 1989 (III CZP 52/89), stating that "all property relations as at the date of termination of the statutory community are settled, while the active state of the property is subject to division at the time of division".

The state of the property means the composition of the property, and not the state of individual items included in it (Article 46 of the Code and Article 684 in connection with Article 567 § 3 of the Code of Civil Procedure; see the decision of the Constitutional Tribunal of 24 June 2015, Ts 327/14, OTK-B Collector of Laws 2015, No. 3, item 320, resolution of the full composition of the Civil Chamber of the Supreme Court of December 15, 1969, III CZP 12/69, OSNCP 1970, No. 3, item 39 , resolution of the composition of seven judges of the Supreme Court of 26 March 1985 - legal principle - III CZP 75/84, OSNCP 1985, No. 10, item 147, resolution of the Supreme Court of 27 September 1974, III CZP 58/74 , OSNCP 1975, No. 6, item 90, and the decisions of the Supreme Court of April 15, 1997, I CKU 30/97, OSNC 1997, No. 10, item 149, and of June 26, 2013, II CSK 583 / 12, not public). The subject matter of the resolution on the division of joint property should be that which, as a rule, exists both at the time the statutory jointness ceases and at the time of the division (Article 1038 § 1 of the Civil Code in conjunction with Article 46 of the Civil Code and Article 684 of the Civil Code). in connection with Article 567 § 3 of the Code of Civil Procedure).

Possible disposal or destruction of joint property by one of the spouses in the period between the termination of the community and the moment of adjudication on the division may, however, cause different implications for sectoral proceedings, depending on whether it was culpable by that spouse (see resolution of the Supreme Court of 19 May 1989, OSNCP 1990, No. 4-5, item 60). When the composition of the property at the time of cessation of joint or inheritance opening differs from the composition as at the date of division. The court should take this into account. For example, in the resolution of the Supreme Court cited above of May 19, 1989, the case of damage was considered. It was stated that "things that were burnt down could not be the subject of division, and in their place came the compensation benefit paid by PZU as insurer. Burned things were excluded from the division in nature and the subject of settlements necessarily became compensation constituting an equivalent benefit for items covered by insurance and it forms part of the division mass. " The court also commented on the intentional destruction or disposal of an asset by one of the parties: "If, before the division of joint property, one of the spouses leads to the deliberate destruction or disposal of certain joint assets to the detriment of the family, when determining the mass of the division, the value of the depleted assets it should affect the monetary settlement between entities of this property or the determination of unequal shares of the spouses in the joint property. This rule found expression in the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court and this fact exempts the current composition from detailed argumentation of this position. The case is different in the case of damage to the joint property by recklessness or lack of due diligence on the part of one of the spouses. Damage caused in such conditions may not affect settlements in the procedure for the division of joint property, because the resulting property losses as unintentional are a mere consequence of the community connecting the spouses. They constitute a kind of risk that often occurs in various types of activities, mainly actual ones, which constitute the whole of social life in the family. However, unintentional damage can sometimes have an impact on the way in which the acquis is divided in kind. In this case, the injured spouse may have priority in requesting that he be given a well-defined component property. "

A similar view can be found in the decision of the Supreme Court of April 7, 1994, III CZP 41/94, not in public).

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