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Authentic will: the essential tool to protect your loved ones when inheriting

An authentic will is a key element in ensuring the smooth transfer of your estate.. By opting for an authentic will, you can avoid conflicts between heirs and ensure that your last wishes regarding the distribution of your assets are respected. In this article, you'll find out all you need to know about the authentic will, its advantages and its crucial role in protecting your loved ones throughout the succession process.

What is an authentic will?

First of all, it's essential to understand what an authentic will is. It is a legal document written by an individual and drawn up before a notary to organize his or her succession and provide for the distribution of his assets after his death. This type of will has the advantage of being particularly secure, as it is difficult for heirs to contest.

Steps involved in drawing up an authentic will

The procedure for drawing up a notarial will is as follows:

  1. The author (or testator) expresses his wishes and the notary transcribes them into the document;
  2. Once the will has been drawn up, the notary must read it over. the contents of the will to the testator in order to check that it corresponds to his wishes;
  3. The testator signs the documentThis attests to the conformity of his expressed wishes with the contents of the will;
  4. The notary and any witnesses present sign also the will.


An authenticated will offers best guarantee that the testator's last wishes will be taken into account at the time of succession.

Why choose an authentic will?

There are several reasons why you may choose to draw up an authentic will:

  1. Legal certainty The notary's intervention ensures that the will is drawn up in accordance with legal rules, thus avoiding errors that could invalidate the will;
  2. Authenticity Since it is drawn up before a notary, this type of will is unlikely to be contested by heirs;
  3. Storage and preservation The authentic will is kept in the Ministry of Justice's Fichier Central des Dispositions de Derniers Volontés (FCDDV). This makes it easy to find after your death;
  4. Last wishes respected Thanks to the notary's control and the reading of the will before signature, you can be sure that your last wishes will be carried out.

VS: Why choose a holograph will?

There are several reasons why you may choose to make a holograph will:

  1. Simplicity and accessibility: A holograph will can be personally handwritten by the testator without the intervention of a notary, making it more accessible and less costly.
  2. Privacy policy : Unlike authentic wills, holograph wills are not registered with a notary, thus preserving the confidentiality of testamentary dispositions.
  3. Flexibility : The testator has complete freedom in drawing up a holograph will. They can express their wishes more informally and personally, without having to comply with strict formalities.
  4. Speed : Holograph wills can be drawn up quickly, which can be particularly advantageous in the event of an emergency or pressing need.
  5. No Notary Fees : Unlike an authentic will, drawing up a holographic will does not incur notarial fees, which can be a decisive factor for some people.

Download our free template for write your holographic will !

The disadvantages of an authentic will

However, there are a few points to bear in mind:

  1. Cost Drawing up an authentic will involves notary fees;
  2. Formalism the notary's presence and involvement can feel like a constraint.


Despite these disadvantages, the authentic will remains an excellent means of protect your heirs while ensuring that your wishes are respected at the time of succession.

VS: The disadvantages of holograph wills

However, it is important to note that although a holographic will has many advantages, it also has disadvantages, such as the following possible errorss, the conservation problems and validity or the risk of contestation due to its informal nature and the absence of witnesses. The choice between a holograph will and an authentic will depends on the testator's personal preferences, the complexity of his asset situation and his specific needs. It is always advisable to consult a legal professional for appropriate advice. to its particular situation.

The role of the authentic will in estate management

In addition to guaranteeing the expression of your last wishes, an authentic will can also play a more active role in the management of your future estate. For example, you can include various provisions to facilitate the process of passing on your assets :

Designation of a universal or individual legatee

A testator may choose to designate one or more universal legatees, who will be the sole beneficiaries of his estate.. These persons will receive all the deceased's assets, after payment of any debts and charges. It is also possible to designate a particular legatee for a specific asset (for example: "I bequeath my house to Mr X").

Appointing an executor

By opting for an authentic will, you can appoint an executor, i.e. a person responsible for ensuring that the deceased's wishes are carried out. The advantage of this appointment is to have an independent and neutral third party to ensure the smooth running of the estate.

Special provisions

An authentic will also allows you to include various special provisions that will apply at the time of succession, for example :

  • Bequests with encumbrances You can bequeath property to a person on condition that he or she meets certain conditions or obligations (for example: "I bequeath my house to Mrs Y, on condition that she maintains and takes care of it");
  • Rights reserved for cohabitees In the event of their partner's death, PACS or common-law partners are not protected by law. The testator can therefore include in his or her authentic will provisions granting rights to his or her partner, who is not legally recognized as an heir;
  • Collecting previous donations If you have already made gifts to certain heirs, you can mention these gifts in the will so that they can be included in the distribution of the estate.


In conclusion, the authentic will appears as a a valuable and secure tool for organizing your estate and ensure the proper distribution of your assets after your death. However, you should think carefully about your choices and wishes before making a will, to avoid any disputes between heirs.

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