According to the Romanian Civil Code, in Romania there are two types of testaments, namely: ordinary or usual testaments and privileged or extraordinary.
In the category of ordinary wills, the Civil Code includes the authentic testament and the handwritten or holograph testament, covered in art. 1041-1046.
The privileged testaments are regulated by art. 1047 and art. 1048 and they refer to testaments concluded under special conditions or in special situations.
The handwritten testament must be written entirely by hand, dated and signed by the testator's hand.
According to art. 1042, before its execution, the holograph testament must be brought before a public notary in order to be marked as unchanged, after which those interested can receive copies of the holograph testament.
After completing the succession procedure, the original of the testament is surrendered to the legatees according to the settlement that took place between them, and in its absence, to the person appointed by court.
A testament is authentic if it has been authenticated by a public notary or other person invested with public authority by the state. The law provides for the possibility of the testate to be assisted by one or two witnesses during authentication.
The testate dictates its provisions before a notary who has the obligation to act and write and then read it to the testate or, where appropriate, give it to him to read, these formalities being mandatory. If the testate had already written his last act of will, the authentic testament will be read to him by the notary.
After reading it, the testate must declare that the act expresses his last will, the testament then being signed by the testate and the authentication document by the notary.
In such situations, according to art. 1045 par. (1), if because of infirmity, sickness or any other cause, a person may not sign, the public notary, fulfilling the act will mention that fact in the conclusion act, this indication standing for the signature. The indication will be read to the testate by the notary in the presence of two witnesses, thus supplying the formality of the signature of the testate.
According to art. 1047 of the Civil Code, a testament can validly be concluded in the following special situations:
◦ before a competent official of the local civil authorities in the event of epidemics, disasters, wars or other exceptional circumstances;
◦ before the captain of the vessel or the person replacing him, if the testate is on board a ship flying the flag of Romania, during a trip by sea or river;
◦ before the commander of the military unit or the person replacing him, if the testate is a military or , without having this quality, is an employee or renders services within the Romanian armed forces and can not address a public notary;
◦ before the Director, the chief doctor of the health institute or the chief doctor of the service or, failing that, to the doctor on call, while the testate is admitted to a health institution in which the public notary doesn’t have access.
It is useful to know that the privileged testament must be concluded in the presence of two witnesses and signed by the testator, the two witnesses and the instrumentation agent.
The team of lawyers within the law firm Darie, Manea & associates is available for additional information regarding the types of testaments in Romania, the valid methods for their legal conclusion, as well as the effects they produce under the Romanian legislation. Do not hesitate to contact us for specialized legal advice and representation before competent authorities when needed.