Notary Public & Commissioner for Oaths


A will is a legal instrument through which a person leaves legally binding instructions as to how his assets are to be disposed of after his death. Wills may be either public or secret.

A public will must always be received by a notary public in the presence of two witnesses and enrolled in the Public Registry. A public will’s contents remain secret until the death of the testator (the person who made the will). However, third parties may know that an individual has made a will even during the latter’s lifetime.

A secret will is deposited in the Court Registry and may only be opened after the testator’s death and by the authorization of the Court in the presence of all interested parties who are notified by means of a court notice. During one’s lifetime, third parties have no means of knowing that a secret will has been made. The contents of a secret will may even be kept hidden from the notary and the witnesses.

Married couples may opt for an unica charta (joint) will.

What happens if a person dies intestate?

In this case, the person’s estate will devolve upon his heirs-at-law according the laws of the intestate succession. The law recognises certain family members as being the next of kin entitled to inherit the deceased’s property.

A court application (rikors) will have to filed before the Civil Court (Voluntary Jurisdiction Section) by the persons demanding the opening of succession in their favour. A notice of this application is published in the Malta Government Gazette and in at least one commercial newspaper. This will enable anyone who has a claim to that succession to come forward in the period indicated in this notice. Following this, a Court decree will be issued declaring the succession open in favour of the heirs-at-law.

Our Service & Commitment at James Grech (Notary Malta):

  • Advice on the legal restrictions of disposing of one’s property after death
  • Advice on the legal and fiscal implications of certain testamentary dispositions
  • Drawing up of wills expressing precisely the testator’s wishes
  • Complete confidentiality throughout the process
  • Registration of wills within the time-limits stipulated by law

Contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information or to make an appointment in relation to the drawing up of a will.

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