Keeping and searching for a will


Keeping and searching for a will
  • What are the principal forms of will in Greece?

* the authentic (or “public”) will, drawn up by a civil law notary.

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

* the sealed will, placed in a sealed envelope and handed over to a civil law notary.

  •  Does a register of wills exist in Greece?

No, for the moment, there is no register of wills in Greece.

I. Keeping a will
  •  Why should wills be deposited with a notary?

It is not mandatory to deposit a will with a civil law notary (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 deposited with a civil law notary. 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 drawn up with the assistance of a civil law notary or filed with a civil law notary are kept in his office. The civil law notary shall then communicate the list of wills kept in his office to the local court.

It is not the will itself which is sent to the court but the information which enables it to be found.

  • Can the testator’s family know of the existence and content of the will during his life?

The content of the will shall remain secret during the testator’s life. However, its existence may be disclosed during the testator’s life.

II. The search for the wills
  • How does one find the wills of family members?

Each month, the civil law notaries receive a list of deceased persons. They must then check in their office to ascertain if they keep the will of one of the persons appearing on this list.

If so, they must then communicate the will to the court for publication.

Such publication enables the civil law notary in charge of carrying out the succession proceedings to have knowledge of the existence of the will.


Fiche pratique - inscrire et rechercher un testament - Grèce - EN