Consultancy of making a testament
1. A testament is the expression of an individual’s will to transfer his/her own property to other person(s) after his/her death (Article 646 of Civil Code 2005). A testament shall be considered lawful when it meets all the following conditions:
– The testator is clear-minded while making the testament; he/she is not deceived, threatened or forced;
– The content of the testament is not contrary to law and/or social ethics; the form of testament is not contrary to the provisions of law.
2. A testament must be made in writing; if the testament cannot be made in writing, it can be made orally. (Article 649 of Civil Code 2005)
a. A written testament may be: (Article 650 of Civil Code 2005)
– A written testament made without witnesses;
– A written testament made in the presence of witnesses;
– A notarized written testament;
– An authenticated written testament.
b. A testament must contain: (Article 653 of Civil Code 2005)
– Day, month, year, on which the testament is made;
– Full name and place of residence of the testator;
– Full names of the person(s), agency(ies) or organization(s) entitled to the estate or the clear definition of conditions for individuals, agencies or organizations to enjoy the estate;
– The inheritance estate bequeathed and the location of such estate;
– The person(s) appointed to perform the obligations and the contents of such obligations.
Besides that, no abbreviations or symbols shall be used in testaments; if a testament comprises many pages, then each page must be ordinally numbered and signed or fingerprinted by the testator.
c. In cases where a human life is threatened by a disease or other causes, which prevent him/her from making a written testament, he/she may make an oral testament.
After three months counting from the time the oral testament is made, if the testator is still alive and clear-minded, such oral testament shall be automatically annulled. (Article 651 of Civil Code 2005)
– Ethnic minority people shall be entitled to make their testaments in their own ethnic minority scripts or languages.
– The testament of a person aged between full fifteen years and under eighteen years must be made in writing and such person must get the consent of his/her parents or guardian.
– The testament of a person who is physically handicapped or who is illiterate must be put into writing by a witness and notarized or authenticated.
– A written testament without notarization or authentication shall be considered lawful only if it satisfies the conditions specified in Clause 1 above.
– To preventing complication, in case the estate is property with ownership right registration, such as real estate, car, motorbike, etc., testament should be made in writing and notarized as well as authenticated.