Opening of a closed will
In Colombia, according to article 1055 of the1055 of the Civil Code, a will is the solemn act by which a person disposes of his or her assets to others after his or her death.
disposes of his or her assets to others after his or her death
. A closed will is a type of will that is contained in a sealed envelope, in which the testator declares his last will and disposition of his property and personal affairs after his death. Unlike other types of wills, such as open wills, closed wills are kept secret until they are opened.
The requirements for a closed will to be valid in Colombia are the following:
- The person making a will must be in full capacity to do so. The notary will verify this condition.
- Identification document of the person who is going to make the will.
- Five witnesses and their identification documents.
- Closed envelope presented directly by the person making the will, with the written statement containing his or her last will. The envelope must be marked with the word “testament”.
- Signature of the person making the will, the five witnesses and the signature of the notary.
The moment of the opening of the closed will occurs after the death of the testator. Once the testator has passed away, the notary or the competent authority proceeds to verify the fulfillment of the following requirements after the request for opening has been made:
- Identification documents
- Written request and proof of your relationship to the person who made the closed will. If the interested party is a child of the deceased, a certified copy of the Civil Registry of Birth must be presented.
- Death Certificate of the person who made the closed will.
- Authentic copy of the public deed that was made upon delivery of the sealed envelope to the notary and in front of the five witnesses.
- Envelope containing the closed will, kept by the notary from the same day it was made.
It is advisable for the testator to leave clear instructions as to where the closed will is located and to communicate its existence to trusted persons, such as a lawyer or a close relative. This will make it easier to locate and open the closed will after death.
This procedure does not require the assistance of a lawyer and its duration will depend on the conditions of each case and the availability of the parties involved.