EU To Ease Rules On Cross-Border Successions

By Editorial 12 June, 2012

The European Union's (EU) Council of Justice Ministers has adopted a proposal to simply the settlement of international successions, easing the legal burden for beneficiaries where a person dies with property in another EU member state.

The decision will lead to a substantial simplification of the settlement of international successions by providing a single criterion for determining both the jurisdiction and the law applicable to a cross-border succession. It will also permit citizens to plan their succession in advance in full legal certainty, including for the purposes of tax planning.

The approval also paves the way for the introduction of the 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 people sometimes have great difficulty exercising their rights. The result will be faster and cheaper procedures.

Once published in the European Union's Official Journal, which is expected to take place within weeks, member states will have three years to align their national laws so that the new EU rules on succession become effective.

Welcoming the decision, EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding, the Commission’s Vice-President, said: "Around 12.3 million Europeans live in another EU country and there are around 450,000 international successions each year, valued at more than EUR120bn. Currently different rules on jurisdiction and applicable law in the 27 EU member states are creating legal headaches for already grieving families. Today's endorsement by the Council of new EU rules will bring legal certainty to the thousands of families confronted with international successions."

Tags: Individuals | Expatriates | Inheritance Tax | Tax | Investment | Law | Legislation | European Union (EU) | Europe |


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