21/10/2023 09:17

If there are 2 wills, which one is legally valid under the law in Vietnam?

If there are 2 wills, which one is legally valid under the law in Vietnam?

My father made 2 wills, one in 2020 to leave the house to my brother, and one in 2023 to leave that house to me. So which one has legal value?_Vinh Hai (Vinh Phuc, Vietnam)

Hello, The Lawnet would like to answer as follows:

1. If there are 2 wills, which one is legally valid under the law in Vietnam?

According to Article 643 of the Civil Code 2015, the provisions on the legal effectiveness of wills are as follows:

- A will shall become legally effective from the time of commencement of the inheritance.

- All or part of a will shall be legally ineffective in any of the following cases:

+ An heir under the will dies prior to or at the same time as the testator dying;

+ A body or organization named as an heir no longer exists at the time of commencement of the inheritance.

Where there are several heirs under a will and one of them dies prior to or at the same time as the death of the testator or one of the bodies or organizations named as an heir under the will no longer exists at the time of commencement of the inheritance, only that part of the will which relates to the individual, body or organization no longer existing shall be legally ineffective.

- A will shall not be legally effective if the estate left to the heirs no longer exists at the time of commencement of the inheritance. If only part of the estate left to the heirs remains, only that part of the will which relates to such part of the estate shall be legally effective.

- Where a will contains provisions which are unlawful but such provisions do not affect the effectiveness of the remainder of the will, only such provisions shall be legally ineffective.

- Where a person leaves behind more than one will with respect to certain property, only the most recent of such wills shall be legally effective.

At the same time, according to Article 640 of the Civil Code 2015, regulations on amendment of, addition to, replacement or revocation of wills are as follows:

- A testator may amend, add to, replace or revoke his or her will at any time.

- If a testator adds to his or her will, the original will and the codicil shall have equal validity. If a part of the original will and the codicil conflict with each other, the codicil shall prevail.

- Where a testator replaces a will with a new will, the previous will shall be deemed to have been revoked.

Thus, if your father makes a will in 2023 to leave the house to you, that will has the final legal effect. This means that the will made in 2020 to leave the house to your brother will no longer be valid.

2. What conditions are required for a lawful wills? What are the contents of written wills?

What conditions are required for a lawful will?

Conditions for a lawful will are specified in Article 630 of the Civil Code 2015 specifically:

- A will must satisfy the following requirements in order to be lawful:

+ The testator was of sound mind when he or she made the will; and he or she was not deceived, threatened or coerced into making the will;

+ The contents of the will are not contrary to law or social morals and the will complies with legal formalities.

- A will made by a person between fifteen and eighteen years of age must be made in writing and with the consent of the parents or guardian of such person.

- A will made by a person who is incapacitated or illiterate must be made in writing by a witness and must be notarized or certified.

- A written will which is not notarized or certified shall be deemed lawful only if it satisfies the requirements provided in Clause 1 of Article 630 of the Civil Code 2015.

- An oral will shall be deemed lawful only if the testator orally expressed his or her last wishes before at least two witnesses who immediately thereafter recorded those wishes in writing and signed or fingerprinted the document. Such will must be notarized or certified within five working days of the date on which the testator orally expressed his or her last wishes.

What are the contents of written wills?

The contents of written wills are prescribed in Article 631 of the Civil Code 2015 specifically:

- A will must specify clearly the following:

+ The date on which the will is made;

+ The full name and place of residence of the testator;

+ The full names of the persons and the bodies or organizations entitled to inherit the estate;

+ The estate to be bequeathed and its location.

- Apart from the contents prescribed in Clause 1 of Article 631 of the Civil Code 2015, the will may have other contents.

- A will may not be written using abbreviations or other symbols. If a will consists of several pages, each page must be numbered and bear the signature or fingerprint of the testator.

Where a will has erasure or correction, the testator or the testament witness must sign beside erasing and corrected place.

Note: In case the will has erasures or corrections, the person who wrote the will or the person witnessing the will must sign next to the erasures or corrections.

Best regards!

Hua Le Huy
64


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