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Creating a will and its effect

When it comes to will as a part of law of succession, the opposing parties usually have questions about the ways of will making and will contesting. Therefore, we decided to share with you an overview of the main items one should have in mind when it comes to wills, which you will certainly find helpful if you have any questions about this particular topic. 

1. Will – definition 

Will is a legal declaration of a testator's wishes regarding the disposal of his or her property and other rights after death.

Any mentally capable person over the age of 15 may make a will, in order to determine who will dispose of his or her property in case of his or her death. 

Testator is authorised to dispose of the property he or she was authorised to dispose of during life, including any legal restrictions.  

2. How to make a will?

Any person may make a will on his or her own, i.e. without a lawyer or any other official (the so-called “private will“). In this case, a person may write a will independently and sign it, without being obliged to have the signature verified by a notary public or the court, but under condition that the will is written in handwriting (instead of on a computer or in any other way different than handwriting).

A person may make a private will before the witnesses, in which case, the testator must make a written declaration declaring that the subject will, regardless of who it was created by, is his/her own will, and sign the declaration before two simultaneously present witnesses. The witnesses must obligatorily sign the will.
The testator may keep the written will with himself or store it with a private individual or legal person, such as the court or a diplomatic-consular office of Bosnia and Herzegovina abroad.

3. Will and rights of statutory heirs

Statutory heirs are the testator’s spouse or non-married partner and the testator’s children (both biological and adopted children). Statutory heirs may also be the following: the testator’s parents, adoptive parents and other ancestors (grandparents) if they are permanently unfit for work and do not have means of subsistence.

Regardless of the will made by the testator, the statutory heirs are entitled to a statutory share of inheritance. By this, the Law actually provided protection to the next of kin and secured them a share of inheritance in case the testator’s will was different. 

4. Revocation of a will 

According to the relevant Law, a will is considered invalid if the testator was under the age of 15 at the moment of making the will or if the testator was not mentally capable. Unfortunately, wills are a very sensitive matter, in practice often misused by ill-intentioned persons in an attempt to acquire what they are not entitled to. Therefore, wills made under threat or duress and wills made by a deceived or mislead testator may be revoked according to legal regulations.

The testator may keep the written will with himself or store it with a private individual or legal person, such as the court or a diplomatic-consular office of Bosnia and Herzegovina abroad.

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