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Will and Testament (English)

Will and Testament (English)

  • Why write will and testament?

    The main reason for writing a will and testament is to avoid troubles between relatives during inheritance.
  • Who can write a will and testament?

    ◇All above 15 years of age could freely write a will and testament even without the consent of their relatives.

    ◇The will and testament could only be written by the person himself. This could not be written by one in behalf of the other. This is true even between husbands and wives.

    ◇No two persons could re-author the same will and testament. Such will and testaments are considered null and void.

    ◇A will and testament could be authored by all those with mental capacity, Even those who are considered legally incompetent could write their will and testament. However, 2 medical doctors should be present as witness so as to vouch for that person's mental capacity at the time the will and testament was written.
  • How to write a will and testament

    ◇For a will and testament to be valid, it has to be written according to the format as described in the civil law. Will and testaments which does not follow the necessary format are considered null and void

    ◇The following are the valid formats for the will and testament as prescribed in the civil law.

    T Regular formats
      (1)Holographic will and testament
      (2)Notarized will and testament
      (3)Secret will and testament

    U Special formats
      (1)Will and testament of a moribund person
      (2)Will and testament of a isolated person due to infectious disease
      (3)Will and testament of a person on sea
      (4)Will and testament of someone lost on sea

     From these, the most common are the will and testament on regular formats. We would discuss the most common will and testament: holographic, notarized and secret will and testament, a bit further.
  • Holographic will and testament

    ◇A holographic will and testament is where the author writes the date, the body of the will and testament and his own name in his own handwriting and put his own seal on it. In this format, the will and testament could not be written using a word processor or a computer, nor ask someone else to write it for him. The will and testament should be on the on authors own handwriting or else, it would be void.

    ◇When someone discovers the existence of a holographic will and testament, it should submitted to the family court for probate. Please check the article below for more information regarding probate.
  • Notarized will and testament

    ◇A notarized will and testament is a will and testament written in the presence of a notary public. The author of the will and testament would dictate his or her will while the notary public will compose the dictated content into a statement. The notary public will then confirm to the author the content of the written document. .

    ◇It is possible to ask a notary public to come to one's own house or to the hospital to write a notarized will and testament. Unlike holographic will and testament, the author could ask the notary public to sign in the document in his or her behalf. It is also possible to ask for a sign language interpreter or communicate in writing for those who could not orally dictate due to speech impediment.

    ◇The original copy of a notarized will and testament would be kept on the files of the public notary office for 20 years.There is no need to worry that it is lost or that it would be faked. Because of this, it could be said that a notarized will and testament is a whole lot safer compared to that of a holographic will and testament.

    ◇Another difference of a notarized will and testament compared to that of a holographic will and testament is that a notarized will and testament does not need to be probated by the family court. Because of this, the partition of the testate could be executed smoothly and with less trouble.

    ◇Two witnesses are necessary when making a notarized will and testament. Please take note that the following are the persons who could not stand as witnesses:
    (a)Underage
    (b)Presumptive heirs, spouses of presumptive heirs, linear blood relatives of presumptive heirs
    (c)Donees, spouses of donees, linear blood relatives of donees
    (d)Spouse of the notary public, relatives up to the 4th degree, scrivener, hired help

     If there is no one who could stand as witness for the notarized will and testament, our office staffs can stand as witnesses. Please do not hesitate to consult us.
  • Secret Will and Testament

    ◇A secret will and testament is where the author writes his own will, signs it, put his own stamp, close it inside an envelope, seal it with the same stamp he used when he signed the will, give the said envelope to a notary public in the presence of two witnesses. Then the notary public would insribe the date. The author, the notary public and the witnesses would then sign their name and put their stamps on the envelope.

    ◇Because of this, the notary public could not check the content of the will. Therefore, it would be difficult to guarantee whether the said will is legally correct and whether it is valid or not. Problems such as on how to interpret the will are highly probable to occur.

    ◇Like holographic will and testament , secret will and testament must be submitted to the family court for probate.
  • What is probate?

    ◇All will and testaments written, except the notarized will and testament must be submitted to the family court for probate after the death of the testator. This is to check the format and the condition of the will to avoid fraud.

    ◇The finder of the holographic will and testament and the secret will and testament must be submit it to the family court for probate. The family court would then send notice to all the heirs.
  • Cancellation of the will

    ◇After the will is made, the author could change its contents anytime he wants. If multiple number of will is found, the one with the latest date would be the valid will.
  • The following are the items that could be prescribed in the will

    T Regarding the status of the testator
     (1)Paternity recognition
     (2)Assignment of guardian
     (3)Assignment of supervisor of the guardian

    U Regarding inheritance
     (1)Disinheriting or cancellation of disinheritance
     (2)Assignment of the amount to be inherited.
     (3)Assignment on how to divide the testate
     (4)Prohibiting the partition of the estate
     (5)Assignment of warranty between the heirs
     (6)Assignment of the executioner of the will
     (7)Assignment of the head of the ritual
     (8)Assignment on how to redeem the legally secured portion of the legal heirs
     (9)Assignment of the amount to be inherited by the special beneficiary

    V On how to liquidate the estate
     (1)Endowment fund for a foundation
     (2)Presenting the estate as a gift
     (3)Putting the estate in the trust


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JIS行政書士事務所

東京都行政書士会 板橋支部 所属
代表 新妻雄次
TEL: 090-3104-6183
E-mail: jis@goo.jp