- 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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Special care must be taken to ensure the safety of important
documents relating to the estate, and they must be sent to the Ministry
of Foreign Affairs with the Consul’s report. Such are, for instance,
documents proving that deceased was in receipt of a retiring pension,
insurance policies, wills, &c.

Russian law affecting testamentary bequests does not contain
any reservation respecting the -pars legitima bonorum, that part of
the property left which by law is entailed.1

If the deceased was a merchant, his business books must be
accurately enumerated and described in the inventory, and a record
made of the total number of pages in each book and the number of
pages that are blank.2

While complying with the laws and usages of the country in which
he has his official residence and with the existing State treaties with
that country, the Consul is, on the strength of his official position,
the lawful representative of the absent and of the officially unknown
heirs of the deceased, and as such he receives all claims directed against
deceased’s estate. He must only satisfy such of these claims as are
legally indisputable. Consular Officers will be well advised to proceed
with extreme caution in affairs of this kind, as, on the basis of Arts.
2105, 2107, 2115, of the Code of Civil Laws (Ed. 1900), they may be held
responsible by the heirs of the deceased. The articles in question
entitle the interested parties to sue the Consul for damages occasioned
by carelessness in the administration of the property which belonged
to deceased.

Property left by a foreigner in a particular state is not exempt
from the observation of local formalities or from the usual taxes
(legacy duty, &c.). On the other hand, in so far as the right of
inheritance is concerned, personal property is only subject to the national
laws of the deceased foreigner, while real property is subject to the
local laws of inheritance. This general principle is not always carried
out in practice, and exemptions from the rule arising out of it have
been created by separate State treaties.

In Great Britain and the United States any property left by Russian
subjects is taken charge of and adjudged to the heirs by the local
courts, in accordance with local laws and on the basis of Art. 10 of
the treaty of commerce and shipping concluded between Russia and
Great Britain on the 31st December i858/i2th January 1859,
with Art. 13 of the similar treaty between Russia and the United
States of the 6th/i8th December 1832. The former treaty contains
no express stipulation that the adjudication of property left by deceased
Russian subjects shall be carried out on the basis of local laws, but
this is provided for, indirectly, by a clause in the same treaty, which
is to the effect that Russian subjects may inherit property in Great
Britain on the same conditions as all other foreign subjects and which
means that they are on an equal footing with British subjects. The
validity of wills of Russian subjects which relate to property left in
Great Britain and the United States is specially recognised by the
aforesaid treaties.

Pars legitima

Inventory ot

§132. [-Responsibility-]
bility+} of
Officers in [-safeguarding-]
ing+} Effects
of Deceased

United [-States-Treaty-]
Treaty+} as to
Property of

1 See § 98.

2 Cons. Reg., Art. 75.

§§ 130, 131,

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