June 27, 2022 - Ukraine

  by Talina Kravtsova

Rozhen, who has dealt with paperwork at least once in his life, understands how important the role of a notary is. The notary certifies the powers of attorney of individuals, wills, contracts for the alienation of real estate, issues certificates of the right to inheritance and performs many other notarial acts. Without a notarized certificate, it is impossible to conclude a marriage contract, a contract on child support, to issue an application-permission for the child to go abroad with one of the parents, etc.

The imposition of martial law on the territory of Ukraine significantly affected the work of notaries. In this article I will talk about the main changes that relate to the performance of notarial acts.

Certificates of powers of attorney and wills 

Any notarial document or deed is executed in the form prescribed by law. Notaries of Ukraine use special notarial forms, the form of which is approved by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. Obviously, in a full-scale war, notaries do not always have the opportunity to certify the document on a special form. In view of this, during the martial law, notaries of Ukraine are allowed to certify powers of attorney and wills, to certify the authenticity of the signature on documents without the use of special notarial forms, on plain paper. Along with this, the notarial document must in any case contain the obligatory requisites, be sealed with the seal and signature of the notary, contain the image of the State Emblem of Ukraine, surname, first name, patronymic of the notary, etc. 

As for special notarial forms, it is recommended to use them in case of urgent need, in particular for certification of contracts.

Actions with real estate

Notarial acts with real estate are inextricably linked with the registration of relevant real estate rights in a special state register. After the imposition of martial law throughout Ukraine, any actions with real estate were impossible, as for security reasons and in order to prevent abuse, access to the state register of real property rights was completely limited.

Currently, the situation is gradually changing. In the coming month, some notaries will have access to the state register and will be able to perform notarial acts related to the alienation of real estate, registration of real estate rights and more. The list of notaries who will have access to the real estate register will be determined by the Ministry of Justice on the basis of a thorough inspection.

Hereditary affairs

Unfortunately, the war brought up the issue of opening and conducting inheritance cases, registration of inheritance rights. Let me remind you that, in accordance with the legislation of Ukraine, within 6 months from the date of death of the testator, the heirs must apply to a notary with applications for acceptance of the inheritance. However, the legislator timely anticipated the difficulties that heirs may face today, and determined that the period for acceptance of the inheritance during the martial law is stopped. This means that the heirs do not need to go to a notary immediately after the death of the testator and do not need to worry about meeting deadlines. It will be possible to accept the inheritance and agree on other issues after the end of the martial law, at a more convenient time for the heirs. 

If you are abroad

Many women left Ukraine after the start of Russia's armed aggression in search of security for themselves and their children. If you are outside Ukraine and you have a need to perform a certain notarial act, you have the right to apply to the embassy or consulate of Ukraine in the country where you are. According to the current legislation, the consul of Ukraine can perform a wide range of notarial acts - to certify powers of attorney, wills and other transactions.

I would like to draw your attention to the fact that the war also made adjustments to the work of Ukraine's diplomatic missions abroad. There are serious difficulties with the transfer of diplomatic mail to Ukraine, which makes it impossible to perform certain notarial acts, such as wills. Recently, one of my trustees was faced with the impossibility of certifying a will at the Embassy of Ukraine in Austria (Vienna) for the above reason. That is why before applying to the embassy or consulate, I recommend that you contact the relevant diplomatic mission, make an appointment and find out all the necessary and relevant information about the relevant notarial act.

Notaries of Ukraine in martial law continue to work, they mostly perform urgent notarial acts - certify powers of attorney and wills, file inheritance cases, certify the authenticity of signatures on applications and more. The list of notaries who continue / renew their work and provide notarial services is regularly updated and expanded. The corresponding list is available  at the link . For my part, I recommend both in peacetime and in wartime to approach the choice of a notary with caution, to use the recommendations of people you trust. Before visiting a notary, you should also consult a lawyer or a lawyer who specializes in those issues that will be affected by the relevant notarial act.