Private law institutions in the Golden Bull

Homoki-Nagy, Mária (2023) Private law institutions in the Golden Bull. In: Golden Bulls and Chartas. Legal Heritage . Ferenc Mádl Institute of Comparative Law; Central European Academic Publishing, Budapest; Miskolc, pp. 151-170. ISBN 9786156356246; 9786156356253; 9786156474261; 9786156474278


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Among the provisions of the Golden Bull that concern public law, there is one that concerns private law, namely the law of succession. This so-called Article 4 mentions three questions. Firstly, it confirms the ancient custom that if the testator has descendants, they inherit the estate. If there are no descendants, the Golden Bull has given the testator the opportunity to dispose freely of his property. This is the measure to which the literature links the emergence of the right of testamentary disposition in the Hungarian legal system. The freedom of testamentary disposition is, however, limited by the institution of the daughter’s quarter, which must be given to the daughter’s heirs from the paternal ancestral property. Finally, the Golden Bull also establishes the ancient rules of legal inheritance by stating that if the testator had no descendants and no will, his ascendants or collateral relatives, ultimately the king, inherited the estate. The paper seeks to answer the question whether the possibility of making a will really only appeared in 1222. The documentary evidence of the 12th and 13th centuries provides evidence that wills were made with royal approval even before the Golden Bull. After 1222, the practice of requiring the king’s approval for a will to be valid continued, as attested by the royal seals on the documents. The other question is the scope of the legal inheritance in the century of the Golden Bull, which meant the lateral relatives of the clan. Initially, this did not extend beyond the grandparents’ parental lineage, but later, in order to preserve the ancestral property of the clan, the circle of collateral relatives who claimed the inheritance became wider and wider. This ambition was strengthened when the nobility asked the King’s approval to leave their property exclusively to their descendants. This eventually led to the issue of the decree of 1351, when Louis the Great renewed the Golden Bull, but deleted Article 4 of it, stating that the law of descent was to be the law of descent.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: will, succession of sons, succession of daughters, patri- mony, right of disposition subject to royal authorisation
Subjects: D History General and Old World / történelem > D3 Mediaeval History / középkor története
K Law / jog > K Law (General) / jogtudomány általában
Depositing User: MTMT SWORD
Date Deposited: 27 Mar 2023 11:26
Last Modified: 28 Mar 2023 10:48

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