Succession Law Procedure Coverage in Estonian Public Electronic Databases: <I>Ametlikud Teadaanded </I>and the Succession Register
The aim of the paper is to analyse two Estonian databases – the Succession Register and the notices of succession proceedings (Pärimisteated) in the public electronic publication Official Announcements – and compare the goals set for the Estonian Succession Register to those set for other registers of wills in EU member states in order to suggest some proposals for future development.
The Estonian register of wills (the Succession Register) was established on 1 October 1996 under the first Estonian Succession Law Act, which also provided for the publishing of notices of succession proceedings, an operation that started on 1 January 1997.
Succession proceedings conducted by Estonian notaries are readily accessible and observable by all interested persons through the Succession Register and the electronic database of notices of succession proceedings published in Official Announcements. From the data available in the Succession Register, it is possible to obtain complete information about the succession proceedings: not only data about the testaments and succession contracts entered in it but also information about which notary is conducting the succession proceedings for any given deceased person, information about estate-management measures, and succession certificates.
Everyone, including those persons entitled to inherit and the creditors of the deceased, has since the end of 2013 had access to information about the initiation of succession proceedings and about the notary conducting them, just as much as about the general state of succession proceedings, directly through the Succession Register data from the e-state portal. The Estonian Succession Register belongs to the European Network of Registers of Wills (ENRW or RERT).
The information in the second electronic database, Pärimisteated, can be divided into three types: notices related to the initiation of succession proceedings, notices of the calling proceedings for identification of heirs, and notices of calling proceedings conducted for purposes of determining the obligations incurred by the deceased and applying to the estate.