The new regulation on cross-border successions, proposed by the European Commission and formally adopted by EU Member States last month, has been published in the Official Journal and has now become law.
The new law makes it considerably simpler to settle international successions by providing a single criterion for determining both the jurisdiction and the law applicable in cross-border cases: the deceased’s habitual place of residence. It also permits citizens to plan their succession in advance in full legal certainty.
The law also provides for a European Certificate of Succession, which will allow people to prove that they are heirs or administrators of a succession without further formalities throughout the EU. This will represent a considerable improvement from the current situation in which citizens have great difficulty exercising their rights. The result will be faster and cheaper procedures, saving people time and money in legal fees.
Member States now have three years to align their national laws so that the new EU rules become effective. The UK, however, has currently chosen to opt out of the new regulation.