On Thursday, 2ndof May, the Saeima in the third reading supported the draft law developed by the Ministry of Justice, which provides complete exclusion of the succession based on such private wills which do not comply with the current requirements of the Civil Law in respect to the format of private wills and are easy to falsify. The aim of the draft law is to reduce cases where individuals abuse the private will regulation for committing criminal offences.

The necessity for the draft law “Amendment to the Law on the Entry into Force and the Procedure for Application of the Introduction, the Inheritance Law and the Property Law of the Renewed Civil Law (1937) of the Republic of Latvia” (hereinafter – the Draft Law) shall be related to established cases, when for the performance of criminal offences persons use such private wills that do not comply with the requirements of the private will format provided for in the valid version of the Civil Law but, in accordance with Article 30 of the Law on the Entry into Force and the Procedure for Application of the Introduction, the Inheritance Law and the Property Law of the Renewed Civil Law (1937) of the Republic of Latvia (hereinafter – the Law on the Entry into Force), the succession based on such wills is admissible.

Amendments to the Civil Law, which came into force after 30 June 2014, admit making only private wills that are fully handwritten and signed by the testator thus facilitating the verification of the authenticity of such wills. At the same time, Article 30 of the Law on the Entry into Force allows the inheritance based on private wills which are not handwritten and signed by the testator, but which can be drawn up, for example, on a computer in the presence of two or more witnesses and only signed by the testator and, accordingly, are easier to falsify. The Draft Law stipulates that after 31 December 2020, inheritance in accordance with Article 30 of the Law on the Entry into Force – based on private will made in accordance with Article 446-454 of the Civil Law in the version valid until 30 June 2014 – will not be admitted anymore.

The Draft Law provides for a transitional period for persons who have made a private will in accordance with the requirements of the Civil Law, which was valid until 30 June 2014. It would give some time to consider including the last will in another form of instruction, such as a public will or a private will made in accordance with the current framework of the Civil Law. At the same time, when the testator is already dead, the potential heirs will have a transition period during which the inheritance matter with a notary public in accordance with Article 30 of the Law on the Entry into Force can be initiated.