Like in most jurisdictions, the recognition of a will by a court of law requires precise formalities. We advise that most people have a will. For individuals with wills that shall be governed by Korean Law the formalities are noted below. We have omitted two forms of wills – a will by audio recording and dictation. These types of wills pose issues of authentication of the decadent and we believe it is not advisable – in most cases.
- Korean Holographic Wills
A Holographic will is a handwritten will. For a holographic will to be enforceable in Korea the will should meet the following formalities:
- Written by the decadent
- Note the decadents name and address
- Sealed or contain a thumbprint.
- Additional details on holographic will may be found at: Korean Holographic Wills
- Korean Notarized Wills
- Will is executed before a Korean notary
- Two witnesses should be present at the notary office
- Notary verifies the signature and IDs of the testator and the witnesses
- The will must be reduced to a writing.
- Korean Private Wills
- An envelop must be sealed and contain a will inside the sealed envelop. It must be clear that the envelop was never opened before death.
- The outside of the envelope must note it contains a will.
- The outside of the envelop must contain the date of signing of the will.
- Two witnesses should seal the outside of the will.
- A notary must notarize the envelop.
For more details on execution of wills please see a post we write on: execution of wills in Korea. For an explanation of Korea’s inheritance Law please see: Who Gets What When & How: Inheritance Law Basics.
Known for his street-smart advice & proactive advocacy. Sean works with senior retired Korean judges and leading attorneys in contentious and transactional matters. First non-Korean lawyer (NY) to work at Korean Courts and one of the first non-Korean law professors. Rated a top lawyer in Korea by major rating agencies.
- Enforceability of Korean Executed Holographic/Handwritten Wills in Korea
- Wills, Trusts, Pre-Nuptial Agreements, Living Wills, and Power of Attorneys in Korea
- Korean Inheritance Law: Who Inherits What, When & How in Korea?
- Renouncing an Estate/Inheritance under Korean Law
- Korean Franchise Law Basics for Franchisors
- Is a Bankruptcy in the U.S. “Effective” on Assets in Korea?: Korean Bankruptcy Law Basics