- 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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is regulated by the general Russian law, if the heir has resided in
Russia since a date earlier than the 14th March 1887 ; in all other
cases of succession by law, or by testamentary disposition, the foreign
heir is obliged to sell the inherited property to a Russian subject
after three years have elapsed from the moment when he acquired
the title to such property.

If this rule is not observed, the property is committed to trustees
by order of the Provincial Council, and is sold by public auction.
The amount received, after deducting the expenses of the sale, is handed
over to the heir. This rule also applies to societies, companies, and
commercial or industrial associations, even if authorised by the Russian

On the I5th/28th July 1904 Russia concluded with Germany
a convention complementary to the treaty of commerce and
navigation concluded by the two States on the 10th February 1894. This
•complementary convention provides for the extension of the term
in the case of German heirs to real estate situated in Russia, from
three to ten years.

The heirs of a foreigner who has died in Russia, if abroad at the
moment of the opening of the succession, are invited by announcements
in the newspapers, in the German language, to take possession of
their inheritance within two years.

On the death of the testator the will must in every case be presented
for probate to the court of the district in which the property is situated,
or of the place of residence of the testator. Holograph or domestic
wills must be produced in the original, while of notarial wills copies
are produced. The period of time during which probate of a will
by a foreigner must be applied for to the proper Russian court is
the same as in the case of wills of Russian subjects.1

Russian Penal Law is the same for the whole country ; there are
only a few exceptions concerning criminal procedure. As to the
so-called "Private Law" concerning the relations of private
individuals, this differs in the various parts of the Empire. The Codex
for Inner Russia properly contains exceptions as to Siberia, the Caucasus,
the Province of Tchernigoff, and some remotest provinces. In Poland,
the Code of Napoleon I. is still in force. The Baltic Provinces possess
a special Code.

The Courts in Russia vary also, according to the jurisdiction
vested upon them. There are special Commercial Courts in
Petro-grad, Moscow, Odessa and Warsaw, besides the ordinary Law Courts.
In all courts, with the exception of ordinary Divisions of Commercial
Courts and matters of inheritance, the fees of the Courts amount to
i per cent, of the value of the complaint. There are other expenses
which vary according to the case, the Law Court in which it is heard
and the Province in which the hearing takes place. Usually, the
total cost is much less than the expenses which are paid in England
for a lawsuit, and it is advisable in each case to ask a solicitor who
has been engaged beforehand, what the costs will amount to. Solicitors’
remunerations are charged in proportion to the importance of the

1 See " Wills of Russian subjects abroad," Part V., Chap. 6.

§ 384.

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