4 Can or must the matrimonial property regime be registered?

If on conclusion of the marriage the spouses choose either the community of accrued gains regime or the separation of property regime, then the vital statistics official or notary concluding the marriage or the civil law notary shall submit a notice to the matrimonial property register for making the relevant entry in the register.

If the prospective spouses do not select a proprietary relationship by an application for marriage and do not enter into a marital property contract, the provisions regarding community of property shall apply to their proprietary relations as of the conclusion of the marriage and an entries into the matrimonial property register are not made.

If the spouses conclude a marriage contract, then the details of the contract are entered in the matrimonial property register at the request of a at least one of the spouses on the basis of an application certified by a notary.

If the community of property or the community of accrued gains regime is terminated by the court, then the court shall send the copy of the court decision to the Chamber of Notaries for entry in the matrimonial property register.

4.1. Do one or more matrimonial property registers exist in your country? Where?

The Republic of Estonia has one matrimonial property register, which is maintained by the Chamber of Notaries.

(Estonian Matrimonial Property Register Act)

4.2. Which documents are registered? Which information is registered?

The following is entered on a register card: the personal data of the spouses, matrimonial property regime, amendments of the spouses’ property rights, the application of Estonian or foreign law to the spouses’ proprietary rights and data about the marital property contract.
The documents that constituted grounds for making the entry are kept in the register file (marriage contracts, court decisions, applications for making the entries, etc.).

4.3. How and by whom can the information in the register be accessed?

Everyone can access the information entered on a registry card of the marital property register and obtain printouts thereof. Registry files can be accessed and printouts of documents contained therein can be obtained upon the existence of a legitimate interest.

The legitimate interest of a spouse, notaries, bailiffs, trustees in bankruptcy, courts and authorities which have supervisory authority is presumed.

The information contained in the marital property register can be accessed at notaries' offices and on the relevant website. A notary fee is paid in accordance with the Notary Fees Act upon accessing information contained in the marital property register at the notary's office.

4.4. What are the legal effects of registration (validity, opposability)?

If the spouses make amendments into the community of property regime or terminate or amend their matrimonial property regime (see 3.1.), then it shall have legal effect with regard to third parties only if the changes have been entered in the matrimonial property register or if the third party was aware of the existence of the marital property contract.

4.5. Can a matrimonial contract concluded in a foreign state according to foreign law be registered in your country? If yes, under which conditions or formalities?

[This information is valuable in respect of third parties, see art. 28 of the European Regulation (EU) 2016/1103 of 24 June 2016. When a matrimonial contract is registered in your country it can be invoked against third parties. An interconnection of matrimonial property registers in Europe is not existing and therefor the registration of the matrimonial contract must be undertaken in all countries separately, where the spouses have property or conclude contracts. Only then the spouses can invoke their matrimonial contract against third parties in that country.]

Yes, a matrimonial contract concluded in a foreign state can be registered in Estonian marital property register. In order to make an entry in the marital property register on the basis of a marital property contract entered into abroad, the spouses submit either a written application or a digitally signed application in front of a notary (Notarial regulation §451(3)). Documents which are not in Estonian shall be submitted together with the Estonian translation made by a sworn translator (Marital Property Register Act §8(2)).