Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law


David Quam

First Page



Recent Development--

In August 1991, eighteen years after diplomats and scholars completed the Convention Providing a Uniform Law on the Form of an International Will (Washington Convention), the United States Senate consented to ratification. Before the Washington Convention enters into force, however, the United States Congress must enact federal legislation that requires each of the fifty states to recognize the Convention and its prescribed form of an international will.

The Washington Convention is the result of the Diplomatic Conference on Wills which convened in Washington, D.C., in October 1973. Its primary objective is to provide testators with a common means of meeting multiple international jurisdictions will formality requirements. To meet this objective, the Washington Convention established a document that certifies the International Will as a valid will that must be accorded full recognition and compliance in those states that are parties to the Convention.