Tuesday, March 31, 2015

SECTION 2-1001. DEFINITIONS Uniform Probate Code

SECTION 2-1001. DEFINITIONS. In this [part:]
(1) “International will” means a will executed in conformity with Sections 2-1002 through 2-1005.
(2) “Authorized person” and “person authorized to act in connection with international wills” mean a person who by Section 2-1009, or by the laws of the United States including members of the diplomatic and consular service of the United States designated by Foreign Service Regulations, is empowered to supervise the execution of international wills.
The term “international will” connotes only that a will has been executed in conformity with this act. It does not indicate that the will was planned for implementation in more than one country, or that it relates to an estate that has or may have international implications. Thus, it will be entirely appropriate to use an “international will” whenever a will is desired.
The reference in paragraph (2) to persons who derive their authority to act from federal law, including Foreign Service Regulations, anticipates that the United States will become a party to the 1973 Convention, and that Congress, pursuant to the obligation of the Convention, will enact the annexed uniform law and include therein some designation, possibly of a cadre only, of authorized persons. See the discussion under “Roles for Federal and State Law in Relation to International Will”, in the Prefatory Note, supra. If all states enact similar laws and designate all attorneys as authorized persons, the need for testators to resort to those designated by federal law may be minimal. It seems desirable, nonetheless, to associate whoever may be designated by federal law as suitable authorized persons for purposes of implementing state enactments of the uniform act. The resulting “borrowing” of those designated federally should minimize any difficulties that might arise from variances in the details of execution of international wills that may develop in the state and federal enactment process.
In the Explanatory Report of the 1973 Convention prepared by Mr. Jean-Pierre Plantard, Deputy Secretary-General of the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT) as published by the Institute in 1974, the following paragraphs that are relevant to this section appear:
“The Uniform Law gives no definition of the term will. The preamble of the Convention also uses the expression ‘last wills’. The material contents of the document are of little importance as the Uniform Law governs only its form. There is, therefore, nothing to prevent this form being used to register last wishes that do not involve the naming of an heir and which in some legal systems are called by a special name, such as ‘Kodizill’ in Austrian Law (ABGB § 553).
“Although it is given the qualification ‘international’, the will dealt with by the Uniform Law can easily be used for a situation without any international element, for example, by a testator disposing in his own country of his assets, all of which are situated in that same country. The adjective ‘international’, therefore, only indicates what was had in mind at the time when this new will was conceived. Moreover, it would have been practically impossible to define a satisfactory sphere of application, had one intended to restrict its use to certain situations with an

international element. Such an element could only be assessed by reference to several factors (nationality, residence, domicile of the testator, place where the will was drawn up, place where the assets are situated) and, moreover, these might vary considerably between when the will was drawn up and the beginning of the inheritance proceedings.
“Use of the international will should, therefore, be open to all testators who decide they want to use it. Nothing should prevent it from competing with the traditional forms if it offers advantages of convenience and simplicity over the other forms and guarantees the necessary certainty.” 

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