Keeping and searching for a will


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 or by an Orphan’s court.

* the holographic will (private will), written by the testator himself (by handwriting and signing own will).

  • Does a register of wills exist in Latvia?

Yes, In Latvia, the Register of Public Wills (hereinafter – the Register) has been introduced on the 1st of May, 2014, its operation and provision of information from it is provided by the Council of Sworn Notaries of Latvia. Information to the Register is provided by sworn notaries, custody courts and courts. The Register simplifies finding of the last will of a testator (will, inheritance contract) and helps the handling of succession mattes. The Register corporates all the documents relevant to the last will – its withdrawal, amendments, supplements or its cancellation.

Starting from the 1st of May 2015, the Register  electronically accessible and one will be able to find data about last wills, certified by or deposited with the notaries since the 1st of September, 1993.

I. Transfer of a private will to storage
  •  Why should a private will be placed in storage?

A private will is not required to be placed in storage, it is sufficient to write it. 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. 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 authentic will kept?

Authnetic wills are kept in the place where they are drawn up or filed (notary’s office or with the Orphan’s courts . The filing of a will is evidenced by an official document. Wills, certified by a notary, are registered in the Register of Public Wills.

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

If the will is certified by a notary or if a private will has been submitted for storage,  upon opening a succession case, a notary will be able to find it in the Register of Public Wills.

Private (holographic) wills are not registered, they come into force if an heir hands it in, during the course of a succession case.

The heirs must carry out their search in the home of the deceased, with the bank, etc. It must be observed that a private will may disappear/be falsified/destroyed, therefore a public will shall be recognised as the safest form of the will.


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