- Project Runeberg -  A practical guide for Russian consular officers and all persons having relations with Russia /
109

(1916) Author: Alfons Heyking - Tema: Russia
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P. IV., Сн. VI. WILLS OF RUSSIAN SUBJECTS ABROAD. 109

this manner is also recognised by Arts. 464 and 465 of the Code of
Civil Procedure of the Russian Empire (Ed. 1893).

If the will of a Russian subject has been drawn up abroad in
accordance with the local law, but without consular attestation, it has in
Russia the validity of a domestic will, and requires to be attested by
a Russian Consul as being in accordance with the local law, and must
then be presented for confirmation to a Russian Court of Justice.1

No deed executed abroad and dealing with real estate situated
in Russia is valid in Russia unless legalised by the proper Russian
State Consul. This applies to all forms of wills. In attesting the
will, the Consul is required to state by whom and when it was
produced before him, whether by the testator himself or any other person,
and whether during the lifetime of the testator or after his decease.
It is recommended that such wills should, when possible, be produced
during the lifetime of the testator and by the testator in person ; this
will afford him an additional guarantee, that the will will be recognised
as valid by the Russian Courts of Justice. It is necessary, however,,
to bear in mind, that the Consular attestation only confirms the fact
that the will has been drawn up in accordance with the form
commonly observed in the particular country, or with the assistance of
the official personages competent to give it, so that the Consular
attestation cannot be held to be a guarantee that the will is absolutely
correct and incontestable. If, therefore, upon further test of the will,
it should appear that, in drawing up the document, all the
requirements of the local law had not been observed, the Consul or Minister by
whom the will was attested, could not be held responsible for the error.

If a will refers to real estate situated in Russia it must be
produced at the Notarial Archive in Russia not later than six months from
the day of its execution, provided it comes under Section 991 of the
Code of Civil Law (Ed. 1900). That Section runs at follows :

" Wills, by which real estates are passed on to other persons
" during the lifetime of the owner irrevocably, must be dealt
" with as Bills of Donation and vice versa Bills of Donation by
" which real estate must change ownership not during the
life-" time but after the decease of the donor must be recognised as
" being of the nature of a will. The taking possession of the
" real estate on the strength of the Bill of Donation must take
" place immediately after the execution of theBill andunder no
con-" ditions whatever can it be postponed untilthedeath of theowner."
In all other cases of wills dealing with real property the
production of same at a Notarial Archive in Russia prior to the death of the
testator is not required.2

Wills made orally by Russian subjects have no validity in Russia,
even if they are recognised as valid by the laws of the country where
they are made.3

1 Circular of the II. Department of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs oL
1st September 1907, No. 12200. Resolution of the Civil Department of
Cassation of the Ruling Senate.

2 Letter from the II. Department of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs of
7th August 1912, No. 10088.

3 Judgment of the Dep. of Cassation of the Ruling Senate of 8th October 1875,
No. 749.

Wills
referring
to real
estate.

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