¿What is the importance of a will?

  • By:Vianela Morillo
  • 0 Comment

Accumulating assets is something that we all do throughout our lives, and naturally, after death we cannot specify how we want our assets to be distributed. As a result, wills are the most common legal tool used to guarantee that the last wishes of an individual, in regards to their property, are fulfilled.

An inheritance is a set of rights, obligations and assets passed on to successors upon the death of an individual.

In the event that there is no will, the law will manage the distribution of your assets, which is very common in a country like the Dominican Republic. Nevertheless, writing a will is a very simple and relatively inexpensive process, which has the advantage of giving you control over the destination of your assets, and ensuring that your wishes, regarding your assets, will be fulfilled after your passing.

The good thing about a will is that it can be written at any time throughout our adult life, it is revocable by the testator (making it possible to modify it as many times as needed) and it is only enforceable upon the testator’s death.


The applicable legislation when it comes to wills is Article 967 of the Dominican Civil Code, which establishes the following: “Any individual may express their last wishes by way of a will, be it under the title of established heir, under the denomination of legacy or any other appropriate denomination ”.

As you can see, a will is a completely voluntary declaration, in which an individual expresses how their assets are supposed to be distributed after their death.

What are the types of wills in the Dominican Republic?

There are three types of wills according to article 969 of the Dominican Civil Code, and it states the following: “The will may be holographic, issued by public instrument or in a secret setting.”

  1. Holographic Will. A Holographic will is made in writing by the testator. In order to be valid, it must be written, dated and signed by the testator, in accordance with the provisions of article 970 of the Civil Code.
  2. Public Will. A Public Will is an authentic testament, made before one or two notaries public, in accordance with the Law, as per the provisions of article 971 of the Civil Code. This article states the following: “A will by Public act is granted before two notaries and in the presence of two witnesses, by a notary in the presence of two witnesses, or by a notary in the presence of four witnesses”.
  3. Secret Will: A Secret Will is written by the testator or a third party, but must be signed by the testator, who then delivers it to a notary in a completely sealed envelope. It is regulated by article 976 of the Civil Code.

What are Legal reserves?

The hereditary reserve is the portion of an inheritance that is not made available. This comes as a result of the fact that the Law has established that there are heirs reserved for it.

Due to the Legal Reserve, it is not possible to have the totality of the assets available when drafting a will, given that you only have the freedom to include a portion of your assets on said will. As a result, the legislator is able to ensure that the legitimate heirs will inherit the portion of the assets that correspond to them.

The previous remarks are stipulated in our legislation in Article 913 of the Dominican Civil Code, which states the following: “Donations made by contract among the living or by will, cannot exceed half of the donor’s assets if their death leaves a single legitimate child; a third if they leave two children, and a quarter if there were three or more”.

Why is it important to create a will?

  • It is important to decide the fate of our assets before suffering from an illness or being involved in an accident.
  • A will allows us to specify who will be the owner or beneficiary of our assets or how they should be used, according to our last wishes upon our passing.
  • It is the best option to arrange our last will.
  • Facilitates the transfer of assets to our heirs.
  • Prevents disputes between family and friends, due to how precisely it defines who will inherit the rights.

We are available


Posted in: Civil Law


No Responses to “¿What is the importance of a will?”

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply