Art. 968 § 1 of the Polish Civil Code provides that testator may charge in a will an obligation upon testamentary or statutory heir to perform specific material performance for the benefit of certain person (legatee). Accordingly the legatee acquires in the moment of testator's death solely a claim against the heir, but he does not acquire bequeathed item itself. Governmental draft currently lodged within the Sejm provides that immediate legacy (‘legatum per vindicationem') is to be introduced additionally and the old type of legacy shall be named “ordinary” legacy. According to the proposed rules immediate legacy can be made only in a will drawn up in a form of notarial act. Testator may bequeath by this type of legacy things defined as to its identity, alienable property rights of any kind, enterprises and farms. Usufruct or servitudes may also be established by the way of immediate legacy. The legatee acquires bequeathed item in the very moment of testator's death and heirs do not acquire it at all. Legatees and other interested persons are entitled to apply for judicial or notarial confirmation of acquisition of immediate legacy. Contrary to ordinary legatees immediate legatees might be held liable for obligations of the estate. Proposed rules should be generally welcomed. Yet some detailed rules concerning especially conversion of ineffective immediate legacies into valid ordinary legacies and liability of immediate legatee for obligations of the estate seem to be controversial.
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