How is a will drawn up and can I register it?
Last update: 10/1/2012
The testator may write the will in his/her own handwriting (handwritten will), or he/she can have it made out in another written form in the presence of witnesses (authenticated will) or in the form of a notarial deed.
The civil law notary, after having drawn up the will, or having received a will filed with him/her, must immediately register the will with the central notarial register of wills, kept by the Chamber of Notaries of the Slovak Republic. The general public does not have access to the central notarial register of wills; only notaries as judicial administrators in a probate procedure are entitled to search the register in order to ascertain whether or not the deceased left a will. If the settlement of an inheritance is entrusted to a civil law notary, it is compulsory for the latter to consult the register.
Information about how to keep, to register and to search for a will are also available on the website of the European Network of Register of Wills Association (ENRWA) in the section “Information sheet”.
What are the conditions governing the validity of a will as regards its form and substance?
In order for a will to be valid, its author must have the legal capacity, wish and freedom to draw up a will autonomously. Anyone wishing to establish a will must also respect particular forms: the holographic will (written entirely by the testator with his/her hand and signed by him/her); the allograph will (drafted in another written form in the presence of two witnesses); the authentic will (drawn up by a civil law notary in the form of a notarial deed).
What are the conditions governing the validity of a will drawn up in another State?
The form of will is governed first by the national law of the testator at the time he/she expressed his/her wishes. In addition to the connection to the national law, Private International Law in Slovakia provides for an alternative criterion in order to favour the validity of a will. In order for a will to be considered formally valid, it is sufficient for its form to conform to the law of the State on the territory on which the will was drafted.
This expression means that a will that is liable to annulment due to a procedural defect according to the national law of its author will nonetheless have its effects if it can be considered valid under the law where it was drafted. This principle provides a guarantee for persons who are abroad in a critical situation and depend upon the assistance of local bodies or persons who do not know the foreign law and apply the rules of their own law.
How and where can I register a will? What is the effect of registration?
Since 1 January 2003, there has been a Notarial Central Register of Wills in Slovakia, held by the Chamber of Notaries of the Slovak Republic. This register contains information on wills, disinheritance acts and acts that revoke them, on condition that they are drafted either in the form of a notarial deed or lodged with a civil law notary. At the same time, it has been ensured in cooperation with the Minister of Justice and the courts that the list of all undeclared wills, registered by the courts before 1 January 2003, has been treated and registered in electronic form on the notarial central register of wills.
However, this is not the electronic archiving of the content of an act, but the recording of the existence of the act with data concerning the person who has drafted it. Thus, the civil law notary, with a mandate from the court to act as a judicial commissioner in a succession procedure, can search the register to find out if the deceased has left a will and where the will is lodged.
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