| Chamber of Notaries of the Republic of Estonia
Address: Tatari 25 10116 Tallinn
Phone: +372 617 7900
Fax: +372 617 7901
The Soviet period 1940 - 1991The development of an independent state ceased in 1940 when the Soviet Union annexed the Republic of Estonia. The Russian occupation resulted in the liquidation of the previous private notaries' offices.
On 24 December 1940 the current Soviet of the People's Commissars of the Estonian SSR adopted a regulation on the approval of the state notaries' offices code, by which all previous laws effective in respect of the notaries' offices were deemed ineffective. The right of performing notarial acts was granted to state notaries' offices, besides these offices, the right to perform notarial acts was also granted to the city, village and county Councils of People's Deputies (local executive authorities). The fees received for the performance of notarial acts were entered into the state revenues, the state in its turn bore the remuneration of notaries and their employees and operation and maintenance costs their offices. State notaries were not allowed to hold any other state office besides their notary post, at the same time a notary could hold a so-called elective office and engage in educational work. As before, notaries and their employees were requested to keep confidentiality.
As to the requirements for becoming a notary, the regulations of 1940 provided that candidates be graduates from the law faculty of a university with a following one-year employment at a notary's office as an assistant, or USSR citizens without a university degree who had been employed as judges or at notaries' offices for at least five years.
Notaries' offices were in direct subordination to the People's Commissariat of Justice, which distributed finances and performed supervising functions. The People's Commissariat of Justice had the right to delegate the supervision obligation also to the Soviets of People's Deputies.
In 1956 the Council of Ministers of the Estonian SSR adopted a regulation on the approval of the regulations of the State Notaries' Offices of the Estonian SSR. Practically, it was a revised text of the 1940 regulations; the Ministry of Justice of the Estonian SSR started to direct the activity of notaries' offices. But the requirements for becoming a notary were lowered: just a university degree in law was enough.
19. July 1973 the USSR Act of the State Notaries' Offices came into effect; based on this Act the ESSR Act on the State Notaries' Offices was adopted on 21 December the same year.
State notaries' offices performed notarial acts. In a settlement where there was no notary's office the Executive Committees of the Council of People's Deputies performed notarial acts.
State notaries were divided into the following categories:
The Minister of Justice of the Estonian SSR appointed notaries to their office and released them from their office.
A person who was a USSR citizen and held a university degree in law could be appointed a notary.
In 1973 the law, in some cases, allowed to appoint to a notary's post a person who held no university degree in law.
State notaries' offices were budgeted by the republic based on the subbudget of the Ministry of Justice of the Estonian SSR; in reality, notaries and their employees were among those officials who were paid a lower salary in the law enforcement system.
The language of performing notarial acts was Estonian. But the Act provided that in regions and cities where the Russian population prevailed, notarial acts were also performed in Russian.
To sum it up, you can say that due to a limited circulation - real estate, i.e. land was out of circulation, there was no private enterprise, transfer of state-owned companies was usually performed without notarisation - at that period a notary was not of that importance as today or during the earlier period.