1. In your legal system, are there acts which fall within the notion of an authentic instrument as defined in the European Union regulations?
[‘authentic instrument’ means a document which has been formally drawn up or registered as an authentic instrument in a Member State and the authenticity of which:
(I) relates to the signature and the content of the authentic instrument; and
(II) has been established by a public authority or other authority empowered for that purpose by the Member State of origin.]
If so, what are they? Are these only notarial acts or also acts of other authorities?
The public document is issued by an official body or a public official according to the legislation. These are notarial acts and acts of other authorities, for example, documents issued by courts, Land Register entries, the prosecution office, ministries, etc.
2. In your legal system, does the authentic instrument have enhanced probative value? What are the rules that provide that?
Under Latvian law, the authentic instrument has enhanced probative value. It stems from the essence and content of the Article 178 of the Civil Procedure Law.
In Latvian Law there is no definition of “authentic instrument”.
Public document is issued by an official body or a public official according to the legislation. Notarial deeds and notarial certifications made by a notary are public documents (except for the documents that certify the authenticity of a signature). In cases when the law provides for notarial certification, public certification or certification in accordance with declaration procedures of expressions of intent, the sworn notary shall make a notarial deed.
In Latvian Law there is no legal definition of a notion of "public document". However, from the Notariate Law, article 81, we can conclude which documents, prepared or certified by a notary, can be considered "public documents" (see Notariate Law, Articles 82 and 108), and which ones can be considered private documents (see Notariate Law, Article 116, part 1).
3. Do all authentic instruments have the same enhanced probative value?
4. Enhanced probative value concerns:
- The date on which the authentic instrument was drawn up
- The place where the authentic instrument was drawn up
- The signature by the parties of the authentic instrument
- The parties’ declarations
- Any observation made by the authority within the limits of its competence
- The measures the authority declares to have taken
- Appearance, identification and consent of the parties
5. Enhanced probative value can be contested:
Before which authority: The Court of First Instance
According to which procedure (state the applicable rules): According to Articles 23 to 32 of the Civil Procedure Law.
Within what timeframe: The application cannot be submitted if the time limit for submission has been reached.
Prescription: 5 and 10 years.
All obligation rights shall terminate if the party entitled to them does not use them within a ten year time period (Article 1895, the Civil law).
The right to bring an inheritance action is prescribed after five years have elapsed from the day when the right to bring the action arose (Article 685, the Civil law).
1. In your legal system, which authorities or delegates of public authority can issue authentic instruments in accordance with Article 3 (1) (i) of Regulation 650/2012?
2. Can you indicate which are the most common authentic instruments in the case of a succession to the estates of deceased persons and which authorities issue them?
The public will, succession contract, inheritance certificate and succession certificate.
An authentic instrument is a notarial act/succession certificate (which is not a European Certificate of Succession) in a matter of succession. The notary, issuing a certificate or an authentic instrument, is the one who attests (certifies) it.
In Latvia, the following acts may or must be realised in the authentic form:
* during the testator’s lifetime:
- Will: notary (authentic will)
- An inheritance contract: notary
- Gift: notary
* after the testator’s death:
- Acceptance of succession: notary
- European Certificate of Succession: notary
- Inventory of the estate involved in the succession: sworn bailiff
3. Probative value of certain specific acts, for example the “acte de notoriété” in France and Italy
1. What types of family law instruments exist?
- Marriage contract
- Divorce on an uncontested basis (Notarial act)
- Power of attorney
- Lasting power of attorney
- Gift: notary