International Inheritance Laws




In the county of Ukraine, inhabitants are indeed allowed to write a will and in fact have an option as to the type of will they would like to draft.  The wills can either be open or secret. An Open Will is written and signed by the testator, and its contents are revealed to a notary, who has the right to attest the will. A Secret Will is written and signed, then presented to a notary in a sealed envelope with the signature of the testator, so the notary does not know what is inside.

In Ukraine, an individual who has full civil capacity may bequeaths or inherit property. According to article 34 of the Ukrainian code, the age of 18 is when one has obtained full civil capacity.  A testator in Ukraine does not need to hire an attorney.  He or she only needs to draft the will and have it notarized.

In some cases where one wants an attorney, one can go online an find one.  For example,  Volkov and Partners is a law firm in Ukraine which was founded in 2005 that provided a wide range of legal services with inheritance and drafting of wills to name a few.  You can find them online at

However if there is not will drafted at the time of death of testator, subsequently the laws of intestacy will come into play.  The law of intestacy goes as follows:

  • The first line of legal beneficiaries includes the children, spouse and parents of the deceased.
  • The second line includes native brothers, sisters, and grandparents.
  • The third includes native uncles and aunts.
  • The fourth includes people that lived as a family with a testator for at least five years.
  • The fifth includes other relatives, until the sixth cousins.


The first line receives everything in the first instance. If there is no first line, then the second receives everything. If there is no second line then the third line inherits, and so on.

The beneficiaries inherit in equal parts. For example, if the deceased left his whole estate to a wife and a son, then each of them receives 50%.

The intestacy laws differs from the ones in NY in that in New york the surviving spouse receives $50,000 and half of the estates and the other half to the children, whereas in  Ukraine the beneficiaries inherit in equal parts.


One Street Museum is a museum that one would want to visit when going to Ukraine.  This museum has and exposition that consists of historical documents, manuscripts, autographs, antique postcards, photos, and a great number of cool objects.  One of the intriguing artworks that I would see if I were to visit Ukraine would be the death mask gallery.  This gallery consists of well-known Ukrainians, Russian and other famous people of which had a face mask made of them upon death.  The mask pays tribute to famous composers, poets, mathematicians and more.



Work cited:  Matthew, UkraineGlobal Property Guide, (April 19, 2013, 8:45am)

Alex Frishberg, Ukraine: Wills and Estates in Ukraine, Family and Matrimonial ( April 19, 2013,8:47am)

Civil Code of Ukraine, (April 19, 2013