What is a will? Formalities for wills in Vietnam

What is a will? What are the regulations on formalities for wills in Vietnam? - Tuan Hung (Ha Nam, Vietnam)

1. What is a Will?

According to Article 624 of the Civil Code 2015, will means an expression of the wishes of a natural person, made in order to bequeath his or her property to others after his or her death.


- An adult satisfying conditions prescribed in Point a Clause 2 Article 630 of Civil Code 2015 may make a will to dispose his/her property.

- A person who is between fifteen and eighteen years of age may make a will with the consent of his or her parents or guardian.

What is a will? Formalities for wills in Vietnam (Internet image)

2. Formalities for wills in Vietnam

Article 627 of the Civil Code 2015 stipulates that a will must be made in writing. If it is not able to be made in writing, it may be made orally.

Thus, according to the above provisions, a will can be expressed in two forms: in writing or orally.

2.1 Written wills

Written as specified in Article 628 of the Civil Code 2015 wills comprise:

- Unwitnessed written wills;

- Witnessed written wills;

- Written wills which are notarized;

- Written wills which are certified.

2.2 Oral Wills

According to Article 629 of the Civil Code 2015, where a person is likely to die due to illness or any other reason and it is not possible for him or her to make a written will, such person may make an oral will.

- If the testator is alive and is of sound mind three months after he or she has made an oral will, such will shall automatically become invalid.

3. Lawful wills in Vietnam

- 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 this Article.

- 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.

(According to Article 630 of the Civil Code 2015)

4. Contents of written wills in Vietnam

According to Article 631 of the Civil Code 2015, 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 above, 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.


Nhu Mai


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