Does forgiveness nullify the effects of previous disinheritance?
The legal nature of forgiveness is the subject of passionate debates among the representatives of civil law doctrine. According to the dominant position in the literature, forgiveness is an act of affection or its manifested expression of forgiveness of the perpetrator of experienced injustice and related to this grudge. This institution has been applied three times in the Civil Code — once with the donation agreement, twice in regulations of inheritance law. Article 1010 § 1 provides that a testator cannot disinherit eligible for legal portion if he forgave him. The wording of the above article indicates that accomplishment of disinheritance in case if testator eligible for legal portion has previously forgiven. The legislator did not, however, determine the effects of forgiveness in relation to previous disinheritance. In the act of 1971, the Supreme Court accepted that such forgiveness would automatically nullify the effects of disinheritance, and could be made in any form. In recent years, lower courts have begun to question the Supreme Court's position, and judges increasingly refer to the critical statements of numerous doctrines. As it was rightly stated, admitting the possibility of invoking the forgiveness made after disinheritance poses a serious threat to the realization of the testator’s will, who, by forgiving, does not necessarily want to revoke the effects of his previous disinheritance. The postulate of de lege ferenda is, according to the author of the article, giving of freedom of judging the effects of forgiveness to the courts and each examination of the forgiving testator’s will on the possible abatement of the consequences of previous disinheritance.