Sometimes, those who write a testament prefer not to disclose to anyone, not even the notary, the content.

However, leaving the will at home could be unwise and the security of a notary firm is preferable.

The secret testament, ruled by articles 604-608 Italian civil code, is perhaps the synthesis between secrecy and prudence.

The secret will is drawn up and signed by the testator, inserted in a sealed envelope to avoid that it can be opened or extracted without breaking and is given to the notary, who keeps it and draws up an acknowledgement of receipt, in the presence of two witnesses.

Usually, it is the same testator who draws up and signs the will; however, this can also be written by a third party and in this case the testator has to sign each sheet. 

In case of second thoughts, the testator may at any time withdraw the will deposited by the notary who will draw up a report of return.

The contents of the testament will be made known only after the death of the testator. 

In this way, depositing the will in the notary’s firm avoids the risk that someone, searching in the drawers between the papers of the testator, finds it, and not satisfied eliminates it; obviously the testament, not the testator...


Milano, 25 June 2021

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