Last will (testament) in Poland
Who can draw up a will in accordance with Polish law? A will (testament) in Poland
A will (testament) can be drawn up by any natural person with full capacity to perform legal acts. Natural persons who are at least 18 years of age, and persons 16 years of age who have entered into a marriage contract, have full capacity of legal rights. Such persons have the full legal capacity provided that they had not been adjudged as partially or fully incapacitated by a court order. For a will to be valid, the person drawing it up must be of sound mind and body and capable of free decision making to express his or her intent. The person cannot be acting under the influence of threat or duress.
How can a will (testament) be drawn up as per Polish law?
Polish Inheritance Law provides 3 basic ways for drawing up a will:
I. Notary will - a will can be drawn up in a form of a notarial act. Such a testament is drawn up in the notary's office.
II. Holographic will - the testator can create a will by writing it entirely by hand, signing and dating it. A holographic will is a basic form of a common will. Person drawing up a will must write it entirely by himself and it can be a document written by hand, and, if a person is disabled, in a manner commonly used by him or her, e.g. with a help of a leg, lips or an artificial limb. Attention - writing on a computer or a typewriter is not allowed. Language in which a will is written is of no importance due to the fact that writing in any language known to a testator is permitted. For instance, a Polish citizen fluent in English may write his will in that language.
III. Allographic will - the testator can also write a will by orally declaring his last intent in the presence of two witnesses before a head of the local community (mayor, president of a city), the head of a district, marshal of the voivodship, secretary of district or municipality or a director of civil registrar. The above-mentioned civil servants have a duty to accept a declaration of will and to create a protocol in accordance with the statutes. All above-mentioned persons have equal legal force and achieve the same results. For instance, a notary will is no more important than the handwritten one, etc. There are also special (or privileged) wills that can be written only under extraordinary circumstances, such as an oral will, a will made on board of a Polish seagoing or aircraft vessel and a will of a soldier.
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