Considerations of surviving spouse inheritance rights under the legal inheritance

AuthorCarmen Teodora Popa
PositionFaculty of Law, Department of Law University of Oradea, Oradea, Romania
AGORA International Journal of Juridical Sciences,
ISSN 1843-570X, E-ISSN 2067-7677
No. 1 (2016), pp. 15-22
C.T. Popa
Carmen Teodora Popa
Faculty of Law, Department of Law
University of Oradea, Oradea, Romania
*Correspondence: Carmen Teodora Popa, University of Oradea, General Magheru St. Oradea,
This article examines the inheritance rights of the surviving spouse as a legal heir in
light of the current rules of the civil code. The current regulations of The Civil code deals
with the complex and comprehensive manner the rights of surviving spouse upon inheritance
left by the deceased. The current Civil code operates a subversion of moral rights for the
surviving spouse thereof, giving him legal status and dignity that he deserves.
Keywords: surviving spouse, inheritance rights, the special right of inheritance, the legal
General notions
Just as remarkable a great Russian writer said, death is an old joke, but new for every
one of us”
, so is the Romanian legislation in the field of the right of inheritance of the surviving
In the current legislation established in the Civil code, the surviving spouse, although
not a part of any class of heirs, benefit from the inheritance rights of their own regardless of
their own class of heirs whom he would encounter.
This situation is somewhat privileged for the surviving spouse if we analyze the
position that it had under the old Civil Code of 1864, which was unfair conditions. The Civil
Code system after which the surviving spouse would be called to the legacy of the deceased
spouse only if they did not leave heir degree inheritance, it was defective and was criticized in
the old doctrine
. He was gaining inheritance if the four classes of heirs were missing and the
widow without fortune had certain rights of succession in competition with other legal heirs.
In an exceptional way, she had a share of usufruct when she came into the competition with
the descendants of the deceased, and in their absence entitled to a quarter full ownership. This
situation of inequity was directed by Law no. 319/1944, for the surviving spouse for the right
to inheritance, now repealed, which brought a number of improvements to the surviving
spouse inheritance situation, recognizing him the right to inheritance in competition with any
other class of heirs, including the right to reserve succession, and some inheritance rights and
Succession rights of the surviving spouse are currently governed by the provisions of
art. 970-974 of the Civil Code in Book IV of inheritance and liberties, Title II Legal
inheritance, Chapter III Legal heirs, Section I, The survivor spouse. This order of the new
rules in civil matters is justified primarily by the fact that the surviving spouse comes to
I. S. Turgheniev, Părinți și copii, Colecția Carte de buzunar, Editura Litera, 2010 .
M. Eliescu, Moștenirea și devoluțiunea ei în dreptul RSR, Editura Academiei, București, 1 966, p. 125-129.
Dumitru Văduva, Moștenirea legală. Liberalitățile, Editura Universul juridic, București, 201 2, p. 45.

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