The European Network of Registers of Wills Association

Latvia

Keeping and searching for a will

- What are the principal forms of will in Latvia?

* the authentic will, drawn up by a civil law notary, by an Orphan’s court or by consular department in Embassies abroad.

* the holographic will, written by the testator himself.

* the will made before witnesses (or “private will”), written or not by the testator himself and signed in the presence of two witnesses. It can be deposited to a civil law notary or to an Orphan’s court.

- Does a register of wills exist in Latvia?

No, a register of wills does not exist in Latvia yet.

Keeping a will

- Why file a will?

It is not mandatory to file a will with the notary or with the Orphan’s court (or by consular department in Embassies abroad), unless it is an authentic will (for example, a holographic will can validly be kept at home).However, a will which is not found is deemed to be a non-existent will. This is why it is recommended that the will is filed with a civil law notary or with the Orphan’s court (or by consular department in Embassies abroad).

The testator shall thus facilitate the search for his last wishes upon his death. These wishes, once found, may then be respected.Moreover, although it is possible to draw up a will oneself, the assistance of a civil law notary is particularly valuable since he is a specialist in the matter. His advice shall thus enable to draw up a will which respects the law and which therefore does not run the risk of being declared null and void.

- Where is the will kept?

Wills are kept in the place where they are drawn up or filed (notary’s office or with the Orphan’s courts - or by consular department in Embassies abroad). The filing of a will is evidenced by an official document.

2.The search for the wills

- How does one find the wills of family members?

If the will has been filed with a public authority, the heirs shall find the official document in the deceased’s personal belongings and shall therefore be aware of the existence of a will.Otherwise, the heirs must carry out their search in the home of the deceased, with the bank, etc.

Fiche-pratique-Lettonie-EN

15 June 2012
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