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REAL ESTATE IN RUSSIA

In order to assist those who may wish to purchase real property in Moscow or St. Petersburg, we provide below some general suggestions that may help individuals with their real estate transactions.

We note, however, that the information contained in this overview is not to be taken as legal advice, and any person contemplating the purchase or sale of real estate in Russia should consult a legal professional before entering into a real estate transaction.

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DOING BUSINESS IN RUSSIA

INTRODUCTION

Doing Business in Russia is designed to introduce persons interested in establishing a business venture in Russia to some of the more significant aspects of the Russian legal structure.

This brochure covers the following topics: a brief survey of the Russian Federation and St. Petersburg; general information concerning travel to Russia, including visas, registration and migration cards; the structure of the Russian Government; a brief survey of the court and justice system in Russia; forms of legal entities permitted by the Russian Civil Code and a brief review of Russian business regulations.

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RUSSIA

January 2011 – September 2011

Real estate and Land law

Federal Law No. 435-FZ dated December 29, 2010 entitled “On amendments to the particular legislative acts of the Russian Federation in the improvement of agricultural lands turnover”.

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INHERITANCE AND WILLS

Inheritance Will and Testament. Transfer of Rights to Immovable Property

Russian Legislation

I. Federal Laws:

1. Tax Code of the Russian Federation, Part 2 as of August 5, 2000, as amended;

2. Civil Code of the Russian Federation, Part 1 as of November 30, 1994, as amended;

3. Civil Code of the Russian Federation, Part 3 as of November 26, 2001, as amended;

4. Law of the Russian Federation as of December 12, 1991, №2020-I entitled “Concerning the Tax on the Property transferred as an Inheritance or a Gift”, as amended;

5. Fundamentals of the legislation of the Russian Federation on the Notary as of February 11, 1993, as amended;

II. Russian Court Decisions

1. Decision of the Plenum of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation № 2 entitled “On certain questions arising in the Courts in regard to inheritance matters” as of April 23, 1991, as amended.

General provisions

i. General provisions on the inheritance in accordance with the Russian legislation in force.

Relations with respect to Russian inheritance matters are regulated in accordance with Part III, Section V, of the Russian Civil Code (hereinafter referred to as Civil Code); the Law of the Russian Federation as of December 12, 1991, №2020-I entitled “Concerning the Tax on the Property carried over as an Inheritance or a Gift”, as amended, and the Fundamentals of the legislation of the Russian Federation regulating Notaries as of February 11, 1993, as amended.

Under Article 1110 (1) of the Civil Code, an inheritance passes to an heir at the moment a person passes away. An inheritance vests in a beneficiary as a matter of Law or on the basis of a Will. Inheritance as a matter of Law takes place in cases when it is not regulated by a will and a testament (Article 1111 of the Civil Code).

ii. Moment and place of the opening of the legal procedure for probate of the last will and testament of a testator; term for completion of the probate of the last will and testament and transfer of a testator's estate to the named beneficiary. A legal procedure for probate of the last will and testament of a testator commences after the death of the testator (Article 1113 of the Civil Code). The moment of the commencement of the legal procedure for probate of the last will and testament of a testator is the date of the death of the testator (Item 1 of the Article 1114 of the Russian Civil Code). A legal procedure for probate of the last will and testament of a testator should commence in the last place of residence of the testator (Item 1 of the Article 1115 of the Civil Code). If the last place of residence of the testator is unknown, or is abroad, the place for probate with respect to an inheritance is the location of the property left to heirs by a testator.

iii. Inheritance by Will

One may bequest property only by drafting and executing a last Will and Testament (Item 1 of the Article 1118 of the Civil Code). The Will must be executed by a natural person who possesses civil capability. The Will must be executed personally; execution of a Will by a testator’s representative is forbidden. The Will must be executed in writing and must be notarized. Violation of this rule leads to annulment of the Will (Item 1 of the Article 1124 of the Civil Code). The notarized Will must be written by the testator personally or by a notary (Item 1 of the Article 1125 of the Civil Code).

iv. Completion of the probate of the last Will and Testament. The term for completion of the probate of the last Will and Testament is six months from the date of the commencement of legal procedure for probate of the last Will and Testament (Item 1 of the Article 1154 of the Civil Code).

In order to receive an inheritance an heir should accept the inheritance (Item 1 of the Article 1152 of the Civil Code). An accepted inheritance is recognized to belong to an heir from the day of the opening of legal procedure for probate of the last Will and Testament irrespective of the moment of actual acceptance, and irrespective of the moment of State registration of proprietary rights in cases the proprietary rights are subject to State registration, for instance, registration of ownership of an apartment (Item 4 of the Article 1152 of the Civil Code).

Completion of the probate of the last Will and Testament is carried out by means of filing an application with a notary by an heir requesting the issuance of a Certificate as to the rights in regard to inheritance in the place in which the legal procedure for probate of the last Will and Testament was commenced (Item 1 of the Article 1153 of the Civil Code).

It is also possible to file the application through a representative in such case authority is defined in a Power of Attorney issued to the representative of the beneficiary (ies) of the last Will and Testament of the testator.

A Certificate as to the rights to an inheritance is issued by a notary in the place of commencement of the legal procedure for probate of the last Will and Testament (Item 1 of the Article 1162 of the Civil Code). The Certificate as to the rights to an inheritance is issued to the heirs within a six-month period after the date of the commencement of the legal procedure for probate of the last Will and Testament.

The Certificate as to the rights to an inheritance may be issued before termination of the term for accepting the inheritance in case there is reliable information which confirms the absence of other heirs (Item 2 of the Article 1163 of the Civil Code).