Legal Inheritance in the Republic of Kosovo
Legal inheritance is one of the most important institutions of inheritance law which regulates the process of legal transition of property of the decedent to one or several heirs. The establish-ment of the legal framework has brought about new reforms to the Inheritance Law. This has enabled the enrichment and functio-ning of the law. A particularly important step was taken towards regulation of legal procedures regarding to how courts, other or-gans and other persons should act regarding inheritance issues. Concretization of the legal authorizations of bodies authorized to enforce the procedure of processing hereditary property has estab-lished the legal basis for realization of the iso jure principle, accor-ding to which, at the moment of death of the person, the heirs gain the right of inheritance and the hereditary property is never left without a titleholder. This is a great advantage that we have noted in undertaking this analysis of the norms in this work, because leaving hereditary property for a longer period of time without a titleholder would render the property vulnerable to des-truction, theft and extermination.
The goal of this paper is to avoid focusing only on finding the positive sides of the normative regulation of the legal inheritance process, but also in finding practical deficiencies that are weighing down at the moment on this important process in Kosovo, and in proposing measures for overcoming them.
The dark side of the legal inheritance process is linked to the inefficiency of courts and the still fragile legal system in Kosovo. By implementing empirical methods, we have come to the con-clusion that the low number of judges in proportion with the huge number of cases has become a key liability for practical implemen-tation of the principle of initiating the legal procedure ex officio. The failure in enforcing this principle and initiating the procedu-res for processing of hereditary property by courts, even though they are obli-gated by law (article 96 of the Non-contentious Procedure Law), has caused a chaotic state in legal proceeding of hereditary property, because many physical persons have died or have been declared dead, while legal procedures for pro-perty proceeding have not been initiated, or even if they have, cases remain pending for years in courts. To overcome this situation, it is imperative to increase the number of judges in a short period of time.
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