Part Ⅴ Succession
CHAPTER III WILLS
Section 2 FORMALITIES
A will shall be made in one of the following forms:
(1) A holograph will;
(2) A notarized will;
(3) A sealed will;
(4) A "dictated" will;
(5) An oral will.
For making a holograph will, the testator must himself write the whole text, stating the year, month and day and sign it. In case of any insertion, cancellation, erasure or alteration, he must make and sign an additional note stating the place in the text where words have been inserted, erased or altered, and the number of such words.
For making a notarized will, the testator must designate at least two witnesses and make an oral statement of his testamentary wishes before a public notary. The statement must be written down, read over and explained by the public notary, and, after the testator has given approval, signed by him together with the witnesses and the testator, stating the year, month and day. In case the testator is not able to sign his name, the public notary must state the circumstances and make him affix his fingerprint in lieu of signature.
The functions of a public notary as provided in the preceding Paragraph may be exercised by a court clerk in a place where there is no public notary, or by a Chinese consul when a overseas Chinese makes a will in the place where such consul resides.
For making a sealed will, the testator must, after signing it, have it securely enveloped, affix a signature across the seam of the envelope, designate at least two witnesses, and declare before a public notary that it is his will, and, if not written by himself, also declare the name and domicile of its draftsman; the public notary must state on the envelope the date on which the will is brought and the declaration of the testator, and sign together with the testator and the witnesses.
The provisions of Paragraph 2 of the preceding Article apply mutatis mutandis to the situation provided in the preceding Paragraph.
A sealed will which may be defective as regards the formalities provided in the preceding Article but is otherwise in compliance with the formalities of a holograph will provided in Article 1190 has the effect of a holograph will.
For making a "dictated" will, the testator must designate at least three witnesses, make an oral statement of his testamentary wishes, have it written down. read over and explained by one of the witnesses; after the testator has given his approval, the statement bearing the year, month and day, and the name of the draftsman, must be signed by all the witnesses and the testator together. Where the testator is not able to sign his name, he must affix his fingerprint in lieu of signature.
Where a testator by reason of imminent danger of death or other exceptional circumstances is unable to make a will in any other form, he may make it orally in one of the following forms:
(1) For making an oral will, the testator must designate two or more witnesses, state orally his testamentary wishes; one of the witnesses must set down these wishes correctly in writing, state the year, month and day, and sign together with the witnesses.
(2) The testator must designate two or more witnesses, state orally his testamentary wishes, his name, the year, month and day; all the witnesses must make an oral statement as to the genuineness of such will and their names, have it and the oral will of the testator all tape recorded, make the recording tape securely enveloped on the spot, bear the year, month and day on the envelop, and affix the signatures of all the witnesses across the seam of the envelop.
In case, the testator is able to make a will in another way, an oral will shall be invalid after three months accordingly.
An oral will must be brought up by one of the witnesses or an interested person, within three months after the death of the testator, for decision by the family council as to its genuineness. Where objections arise regarding the decision of the family council, application may be made to the court for a judgment.
The following persons may not act as witness of will:
(1) A minor;
(2) A person who is subject to the order of the commencement of guardianship or assistantship;
(3) An heir, his spouse or his lineal relatives by blood;
(4) A legatee, his spouse or his lineal relatives by blood;
(5) Persons who are assistants to, or employed by, or living together with, the public notary or the person that exercises the functions of a public notary.