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

(1916) Author: Alfons Heyking - Tema: Russia
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The period of time during which probate of a will must be applied
for to the proper Russian Court is one year in the case of persons
residing within the limits of the Russian Empire, and two years for
persons residing abroad, in each case counting from the day of the
testator’s decease.1 After these dates wills presented, or produced
at the district courts, will not be admitted to probate. Should the
heirs or executors under the will, however, be able to bring
incontestable evidence that application has been delayed through ignorance
of the existence of the will, or for some other lawful reason, the right
to prove the will is allowed them during 10 years, dating from the
day of the testator’s decease.2

Probate of a "domestic will" is granted by the appropriate
Russian District Court after examination of the witnesses, not under
oath, as to whether it was produced by the testator himself, in the
presence of all the witnesses, and whether they all considered him
to be of sound disposing mind, memory, and understanding.3 But
even when all the witnesses have died and their examination is thus
rendered impossible, probate can be granted to a domestic will. It
is granted without any such formalities to notarial wills, as these
enjoy the juridic presumption of being true and lawful.4

The Court enquires into the legality of the contents of the will
only in so far as the right of the testator to make the will and the
rights of the heirs to receive the property left to them are concerned.

The probate of the will is advertised in the Gazette of the Imperial
Senate. The probate is only the attestation of its formal legality
and does not preclude its being subsequently contested by persons
entitled so to do in their own rights. If the will is contested during
the proceedings in probate (ochranitelnoje sudoproisvodstvo) the
probate is delayed until the settlement of the lawsuit.

If the District Court refuses probate of the will in the aforenamed
ochranitelnoje sudoproisvodstvo, an appeal must be made to the
Court of Appeal (Palata), and against the decision of that Court a
petition can be addressed to the Department of Cassation of the
Imperial Senate.

According to Russian law, although no restriction is placed upon
the testamentary disposal of acquired property, family property
cannot be made the subject of bequest, for it accrues by right of
succession to the heir-at-law.

By family property, the law understands :—

(a) Real estate acquired by the testator by right of ordinary

(b) Real estate acquired by the testator under a will, but which»
in the absence of such an instrument he would still inherit by virtue

of the law of succession.

1 Code of Civil Laws, Art. 1063.

2 Ibid, Art. 1065. The will may serve as a foundation for claims until
ten years have elapsed dating from testator’s decease.

3 Code of Civil Laws, Art. 1066.

* Ibid, Art. 1052.

§ 98.


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