The European Network of Registers of Wills Association


Registering and searching for wills

- What are the forms of will in Estonia?

* the notarial will, which groups:

-the authentic will, drawn up by a civil law notary.

-the sealed will, filed with a notary in a sealed envelope.

* the private will which groups:

-the allographic (or “before witnesses”) will, signed by the testator in the presence of two witnesses.

-the holographic will, written, dated and signed by the testator himself.

- Does a register of wills exist in Estonia?

Yes, there is a register which is administered by the State. The registration and search of wills is carried out electronically.

1.The registration of a will

- Why register a will?

All wills are not necessarily registered (for example, a holographic will may be kept at home). However, it is mandatory to register authentic wills and the other forms may be registered. A will which is not found is deemed to be a non-existent will. This is why it is recommended that the will is recorded in the register. In this way, the testator can be sure that his last wishes will be found and therefore respected following his death.

- Who can carry out the registration?

The civil law notary carries out the registration of wills. In effect, 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.It is not the content of the will which is registered in the register but the information which enables the will to be found.

- Who keeps the will?

The civil law notary is in charge of keeping the notarial and private wills confided to him by the testator.

- Can the testator’s family members consult the register while he is still alive?

No, the existence of a will and its content shall remain a secret during the entire life of the testator.

- How much does it cost to register a will?

The cost of certifying and registration of a will amounts to 32,55 € (with the value added tax ca 38,40 €).

2.The search for the wills

- Who may query the register of wills?

Upon the death of the testator, the family of the deceased may consult the register of wills themselves or through a civil law notary or judge. This query is mandatory, as it ensures that the last wishes of the testator are respected.

- Is it necessary to provide a death certificate?

Yes, the testator’s family must provide a death certificate in order to be able to carry out a search. This measure enables to ensure that the existence of the will remains secret throughout the testator’s life.

- How much does a search cost?

Searches in the register are free of charge.


26 July 2016
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by the European Union