Notable points when making a will in Vietnam
Making a will is no longer a new issue, however, to make a will valid according to the laws, the testator needs needs to understand the Vietnamese legal regulations and make necessary preparations.
In this article, we will focus on answering frequently asked questions, in both theoretical and practical aspects, in order to make a will valid and protected by laws.
(1) Who can make a will?
(2) Who is entitled to inherit the properties?
(3) What to include in a will?
(4) What are the requirements of a valid will?
(5) Can a foreigner living in Vietnam make a will and/or inherit the properties?
1. Who can make the will?
One can make the will if he/she meets the two conditions, including:
(i) being an adult (be eighteen years of age or over); or a person who is between fifteen and eighteen years of age may make a will with the consent of his/ her parents or guardian; and
(ii) being of sound mind when making the will; not being deceived and threatened.
It should be noted that, even though the laws do not require the testator to have a medical examination before making a will, in practice, the testator should have medical check by a hospital to prove that he/ she is capable of making a will.
2. Who is entitled to inherit the properties?
The testator is free to choose who will receive his/her properties. Despite this, when a testator does not grant the following persons an inheritance, such person still has the right to receive a part of the properties, including: (i) children who are minors (under the age of eighteen), fathers, mothers, wife or husband of the testator and (ii) children (eighteen years of age or over) without working capacity.
3. What to include in a will?
According to the law, the content of the will must clearly state:
(i) Date of making the will;
(ii) Personal information of the testator;
(iii) Information of the beneficiaries of the properties; and
(iv) Information of the properties.
Besides these, the testator can add others following the needs of him/ her and the provisions of law.
In addition, the testator shall make sure that:
- The will does not violate the prohibition of the law and social ethics.
- The will shall not be written using abbreviations or other symbols. If a will consists of several pages, each page shall be numbered and bear the signature or fingerprint of the testator. Where the will has erasure or correction, the testator or the witnesses shall sign next to the erasing and corrected place.
- The testator can only dispose of the properties in his/her possession. For common properties, the will shall cover only his/ her part of such properties.
4. What are the requirements of a valid will?
5. Can a foreigner living in Vietnam make a will and/or inherit the properties?
A foreigner is entitled to inherit the properties in Vietnam. It shall be also noted that for properties being real estate, there shall be restrictions for foreigner.
A foreigner living in Vietnam can also make a will in Vietnam, provided that it meets the requirements as mentioned above. However, it should be pointed out that:
In case the will is made in a foreign language, it must be translated and notarized into Vietnamese. In fact, in order to facilitate notarization or certification, the notary public in Vietnam usually have the testator to contact the Embassy or Consulate General for more convenience.
In case the testator’s property is located in a foreign country, the testator should make another will in the country where the property is located. Because the inheritance of such property shall comply with the law of the country where the property is located, so a will made according to Vietnamese laws may not fully meet the requirements of the laws where the property is located.