Registering and searching for a will


Registering and searching for a will
  •  What are the forms of will in Bulgaria?

* the authentic will, drawn up by a civil law notary in the presence of two witnesses.

* the holographic will, written, dated and signed by the testator himself. It may be handed over to the civil law notary in a sealed envelope.

  • Does a register of wills exist in Bulgaria?

Yes, a register has existed since October 17, 2009, administered by the Bulgarian Notariat. Wills are registered and the register can be searched electronically.

I. Registering a will
  •  Why register a will?

All wills are not necessarily registered (for example, a holographic will may be kept at home).

However, all wills transmitted to a civil law notary must be entered in the register. However, a will which is not found is deemed to be a non-existent will. In this way, the testator can be sure that his last wishes will be found and respected following his death.

Who can register a will?

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 the testator to draw up a legally valid will and thereby avoid the risk of having the will declared invalid.

It is not the content of the will which is entered in the register but the information which enables the will to be found following the death of the testator.

  •  Who keeps the will?

The civil law notary is in charge of keeping the authentic wills and the holographic wills entrusted to him by the testator.

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

The testator’s close family may consult the register during the testator’s life but are not entitled to obtain information regarding the content of the will.

  • How much does it cost to register a will?

There is no charge for registering a will. However, the civil notary’s fees for drawing up an authentic will or for keeping a holographic will are calculated according to the civil notaries’ recommended scale of fees.

For example, if the value of the assets transmitted in the will is 50,000 euros, the civil notary’s fees for drawing up an authentic will will be approximately 183 euros.

II. The search for a will
  •  Who may consult the register of wills?

Upon the death of the testator, the Chamber of Notaries or the civil law notary himself may consult the register. This is not obligatory but it is however recommended because 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 ensures that the existence of the will remains secret throughout the testator’s life.


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