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For Austria: Chevalier Othon de Lutterotti de Gazzolis et Langenthal, Ministerial Counsellor in the Royal Austrian Ministry of Justice, etc.;
For Hungary: Mr. Gustave de Töry, Secretary of State in the Royal Hungarian Ministry of Justice, Knight of the Order of Leopold, etc.; and
His Majesty the King of Servia:
Mr. M. G. Milovanovitch, his Minister of Foreign Affairs, GrandCross of the Order of St. Sava, Commander of the Star of Karageorge and of the White Eagle, etc.;
Who, after having communicated to each other their full powers, found in good and due form, have agreed upon the following articles:
ARTICLE 1 The citizens of one of the high contracting parties may devise by testament, bequest, donation or otherwise, all their property they might own within the territory of the other high contracting party.
They shall have the right to have their last will drawn up by the consular functionaries within whose jurisdiction they may reside.
Succession to real property shall be governed by the laws of the country within which the property is situated, and jurisdiction of any claim or contestation regarding succession to real property shall belong exclusively to the tribunals of that land.
Successorial rights regarding inheritance of personal property left by a citizen of one of the contracting parties in the territory of the other, the distribution of the inheritance among the persons sharing in the succession, the procedure and jurisdiction to settle the succession, shall all be governed exclusively by the laws of the country of which the deceased was a citizen at the time of his death.
This principle shall apply invariably whether the deceased was established in or simply passing through the country where the personal inheritance is located, or whether he was not in that country at the time of his death, whether citizens of that country are to share in the succession, or whether, beside the personal succession, real property connected with the succession is also situated within the same territory.
By successorial rights are meant: legal succession, right to legal share, testamentary sucoession, inheritance contract, donation through death, bequest and acquisition by the state of a succession without a claimant. If, under a definition other than those just enumerated, claims have, within the period prescribed by Article 4, § 4, been entered by citizens or inhabitants of the country where the succession is located, and before the local courts, jurisdiction thereof shall belong exclusively to these courts and be given effect, as well as the payment of the amounts claimed or the deposit of a bond for their redemption, in conformity with the laws of the country.
ARTICLE 3 In case of death of a citizen of one of the contracting parties within the territory of the other, the local authorities shall immediately and, at the latest, within twenty-four hours after knowledge of such death has reached them, make communication thereof to the consular authority nearest to the place where such death has taken place. The latter authority shall act in the same manner toward the local authorities when such knowledge shall have come to it first.
· ARTICLE 4
As to personal successions left within the territory of one of the contracting parties by citizens of the other, the local authority, on the one part, and the consular authority within whose jurisdiction the deceased came, on the other part, shall have the right to proceed with the acts herein specified. The consular authority may proceed directly or by the intermediary of a delegate which it shall appoint under its own responsibility. The delegate must be provided with a document issued by the consular authority, bearing the seal of the said authority and stating his official character.
(1) Affixing and Removing the Seals The consular authority may affix the seals, either officially, or upon the request of the parties interested, upon all effects, movables and papers of the deceased, by giving notice thereof to the competent local authority, which, in case the laws of the country impose such duty upon it, may be present and likewise affix its own seals. Whenever the local authority shall have had knowledge first of the death and if, in accordance with the laws of the country, it is obliged to affix the seals upon the property connected with the succession, it shall invite the consular authority to co-operate with it in the act.
In case the immediate affixing of the seals should appear to be absolutely necessary, and this operation, by reason of the distance between the places or on other grounds, could not take place jointly, each of the two authorities shall have the right to affix the seals previously without the co-operation of the other.
The authority not co-operating in this act must be informed within twenty-four hours of the affixing of the seals, and shall be free afterward to put its own seal across the one already affixed.
Single seals shall be broken by the authority affixing it, in the presence of the other authority.
Double seals may be broken by mutual agreement only. Nevertheless, if notice has been given to the local authority by the consular authority or to the consular authority by the local authority, inviting it to be present at the breaking of the seals, single or double, and the authority to which the invitation is addressed does not appear at the appointed time, the other authority may then proceed alone with the said operation.
The notices and invitations specified in the present paragraph shall be given in writing, and a receipt be given therefor. Any invitation to be present at the affixing or at the breaking of the seals must be transmitted to the authority concerned at least twenty-four hours before the operation; the period shall, however, extend over three days in case the authority issuing the invitation should reside without the jurisdiction of the other authority.
(2) Taking of Inventory After the breaking of the seals, the consular authority shall take an inventory of all the personal property, effects, bills and papers left by the deceased, and in the presence of the local authority, if after having been notified the latter should deem it its duty to be present at this act. The local authority may at the close of each session affix its signature to the procès-verbaux drawn up in its presence, without the power, however, by reason of its official intervention, to exact any rights of whatever nature.
(3) Conservation of the Effects After an inventory shall have been made, in conformity with the stipulations of the preceding paragraph, of all the personal property composing the succession, the deeds, bonds, bills and papers of the deceased shall be left with or handed to the consular authority.
The latter authority may proceed to the sale at the highest bid of all the personal property of the succession susceptible of deterioration or difficult to preserve. It shall, however, be obliged to notify the local authority, so that the sale may take place, under the conditions prescribed by the laws of the country. In case it should devolve upon the local authority to effect the sale, the latter should invite the consular authority to be present.
The consular authority shall hold in trust or deposit in a safe place the inventoried effects and valuables, the amount of bills paid, the reyenues received, as well as the product of the sale of personal property if such a sale takes place. These deposits must be made jointly with the local authority invited to be present at the operations referred to above, if citizens or inhabitants of the country appear as parties interested in the succession either ab intestate, or as testamentary legatee.
If the assets of the succession do not suffice to satisfy the creditors, citizens or inhabitants of the country, all documents, effects or valuables belonging to this succession must then, upon the demand of the creditors and in conformity with the laws of the country, be transmitted either to the competent judicial authority, or to the judicial administrators, or to the assignees or administrators of the bankrupt, the consular authority being charged to represent its citizens, heirs or legatees, whether these are absent, minors or incompetent.
(4) Administration and Settlement of the Estate The consular authority shall administer and settle the personal part of the estate.
The local authority may not intervene in this operation except, when, in accordance with the laws of the country, it is necessary to specify a period within which all claims arising from the succession must be presented. Within this period, which may not exceed one year from the day when the inventory shall have been established, the consular authority shall take only such conservatory measures as may not be to the detriment of the rights of the parties interested.
The consular authority shall, moreover, have the right to draw immediately upon the estate for paying the expenses of the last illness of the deceased, the wages of the servants, the rents, the legal and consular expenses, and others of like nature, and, if necessary, for the expenses of maintenance of the family of the deceased.
At the expiration of the period fixed by the local authority, and if, according to the rules of jurisdiction indicated in Article 2, there is no contestation reserved to the decision of the tribunals of the country, the consular authority will then enter definitively into possession of the personal estate, in so far as this property may not be pledged as guaranty in favor of citizens or residents of the country, and dispose of it subsequently in accordance with the laws of the country of which the deceased was a citizen. In case there is a contestation reserved to the decision of the tribunals of the country, the consular authority will enter into definitive possession only after the pronouncement of the decision, or after the sum necessary to cover the amount of these claims shall have been fixed by the tribunal of the country and a proportionate guaranty shall have been furnished.
ARTICLE 5 In all matters arising from the opening, the administration and the settlement of the successions of the citizens of one of the contracting parties within the territory of the other, the respective consular functionaries shall of right represent the heirs and legatees who are absent and might not have appointed their representatives. They shall be officially recognized as their fully empowered agents and not be obliged to justify their mandate by a special title.
In consequence, they may appear before the authorities, either personally or by agents chosen from among the persons authorized thereto by the laws of the country, to safeguard in any matter relating to the succession, the interests of the heirs and legatees, by prosecuting their rights or by making answer to demands formulated against them.
It is, however, understood that the consular functionaries considered as the fully empowered agents of their fellow-citizens may never be prosecuted personally in regard to any matter concerning the succession.
ARTICLE 6 When a citizen of one of the contracting parties shall have left within the territory of the other an estate in any locality where there is no consular authority, the competent local authority, in conformity with the laws of the country, shall proceed with the inventory of the effects of the inheritance, shall take all conservatory measures and be obliged within the shortest possible time to give an accounting to the consular authority nearest to the place where the succession came into existence, of the result of these operations.
With regard to the property left by the deceased, the local authority