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Dear reader, “Iravunk” newspaper opens its page entitled “Lawyer’s reception”. It pursues only one goal, that is, to highlight this or that problem on legal dimension which is of great concern to our society. I have the honor of handling it. Moreover, you are free to display your problems which you face or are of concern to you. It will also be highlighted and a respective consultation will be provided.

There exists a stereotype in the society that we Armenians are people who do not respect and ignore laws. But it is not so. Unfortunately, we are not well-informed of the laws, legal acts which we are obliged to know and as a result of ignorance we very often are faced with various problems. Also, there is lack of faith and confidence that law supremacy exists in the country, whereas everyone is equal before law. I believe everyone ought to start from themselves and then demand from others and in order to start they ought to know their rights and responsibilities. To my deep conviction, law is a science of kindness and justice. But the guarantee of good, right, happy and peaceful life lies in living and obliging others to live according to laws and obeying it. One ought to reach it and deserve it.

Today, some part of civil affairs include inheritance-related affairs.

Finally, what is inheritance, how is it executed, how is will executed, what procedures are applied regarding the acceptance of inheritance, what periods and what procedures are applied when refusing from inheritance, is reimbursement of expenses regarding inheritance envisaged or not and who is to reimburse?

In accordance with the first protocol of the European Convention (property protection) and Article 31 of RA Principal Law (right for property management and legacy) stipulate everyone’s rights to manage, direct, use, inherit, bequeath their own property at their own discretion by virtue of an ownership right.

Under its Principal Law the State not only gives right to each person to acquire own property in the manner prescribed by law, but also becomes a guarantor for further transference of the given property to another person at request of its owner.

Article 77 of Chapter 10 of RA Civil Code deals with inheritance title. These articles regulate the inheritance title.

It enables each person to get a precise guarantee stipulating that the property owned by them by virtue of an ownership right shall be managed after death the way it was managed during the life of its owner.

In case of inheritance, the property of the deceased (inheritance), including cash, securities, except for state awards and orders, shall be unchangeably included in the inheritance as a whole integrity which can be lawfully transferred to heirs or other persons. The will is opened after the death of a citizen. During the opening procedure of the will on inheritance minor children, invalid, unemployed children or over sixty-year-old children, spouses and parents of the testator are entitled to the share.

A citizen shall independently manage his or her own property and shall be entitled to:

a. lawfully bequeath the entire property to heirs,

b. lawfully bequeath a part of the entire property to heirs,

c. bequeath the entire property to one or several persons,

d. bequeath a part of the entire property to one or several persons,

e. lawfully deprive one or a few or all of heirs of inheritance without any further explanation.

Inheritance at law.

Law stipulates the sequence of heirs to receive the inheritance.

a. first priority heirs, i.e. children, spouses, parents,

b. second priority heirs, i.e. brothers, sisters,

c. third priority heirs, i.e. grandfathers, grandmothers,

d. fourth priority heirs, i.e. uncles (both from mother’s and father’s side), aunts (both from mother’s and father’s side).

Inheritance at will.

In case of death of a citizen the will is the expression of his or her will regarding the future management of the property owned by him or her in the manner prescribed by law. The Legislation stipulates that it ought to be executed by a capable citizen in person and ought to be attested notarially in the manner prescribed by law about notarial system. In case a testator is in no condition sign the will on account of his or her physical disability, health or ignorance, the will can be signed by another citizen at the request of the latter in presence of notary or another official in charge of attesting the will in the prescribed manner with a mention of reasons of the testator’s inability to sign the will personally.

The testator has the right to:

a. completely liquidate the pervious will,

b. modify the previous will.

The declaration of liquidation, modification or completion of the will ought to be made in the same manner and mode as the previous will.

In drawing up the will the testator ought to mention the place, time of its drawing up, as well as sign personally and cause it to be attested by a notary or another lawful person in charge of attesting wills, otherwise it will result in invalidity of the will.

The Legislation stipulates that the testator has all the rights not to allow a notary or other persons to familiarize themselves with the content of the will prior to its opening. In this regard, the notary ought to attest the will without reading the contents of the will which is to be handed in closed, glued envelope and signed by the testator in person and the envelope is to be signed by witnesses.

In case the testator is in

a. hospital

b. military service where there are no notaries

c. remote regions where there are no notaries

d. no board of ships sailing under RA flag

e. detention places

The will can be attested by the head of office-institutions or communities of the latters which is to be signed by the testator in presence of witnesses.

The confidentiality of the will shall be protected by law.

Inheritance can be accepted within six months after the opening of the will.

An heir missing the time of acceptance of the inheritance can apply to the court.

An heir is free to refuse to accept the inheritance.

All the expenses regarding the inheritance shall be allocated in the following sequence:

a. firstly, necessary expenses regarding health problems before the death of a testator and proper funeral thereof,

b. secondly, necessary expenses regarding the maintenance and managing of the property included in the inheritance, as well as the execution of the will,

c. thirdly, requirements of creditors based on a testator’s debts,

d. fourthly, requirements of heirs entitled to mandatory share,

e. fifthly, expenses regarding the execution of testator’s assignments.