Succession arrangements regarding the laws in force in the Member States of the European Union and its diversity, poses a number of problems in implementing the appropriate civil rule, since on the death of an EU citizen outside the country of his nationality, there is a need to settle what law is applicable to his succession, a situation that becomes even more complicated when that person also has assets in different Member States or outside them.
The European Parliament passed last 4th of July 2012, the Regulation No. 650/2012, applicable to all Member States, except for UK, Ireland and Denmark, with a vocation to regulate all Inheritance that occur from the 17th of August 2015. The said regulation takes into account the different existing systems in Member States and tries to harmonize them in the interest of legal certainty in matters of succession. Article 1 and in conjunction with its Preamble is devoted to its delimitation of scope, undergirding the rule to the provisions mortis causa and in particular the Will, simple or joint and to the agreement as to succession, excluding from its application, in the opposite sense, matters relating to hereditary succession, which will continue to be regulated by the relevant National rules, such as the marital status and family relations of people, the economic and matrimonial regime, alimony and tax issues and administrative Public Law, among others. Between the personal law or the territorial law, the Regulation leans, as a general rule, towards the latter, determining that the succession law of the European deceased will be that of his habitual residence at the time of his death.
Notwithstanding, as an exception to the above, and as a mark of respect to the principle of free will, the said Regulation accepts that the law in application may be that of the nationality of the deceased at the time of making the choice, or on his death, decision which must necessarily be made in a regulation Mortis Causa, either expressly in a Will and Testament, either being able to deduce it clearly. The chosen option is capable to be modified or revoked at any time by the same means. Needless to say, as a result of the above, in such cases of succession called "intestate", i.e. without a Will, it will be always governed by the general rule relating to the habitual residence of the deceased. The law in application under the previous Regulation, will govern all succession whichever nature of goods and wherever the country they are located and any inheritance act, be it judicial, with some exceptions, or extrajudicial.
European Certificate of Succession
Created by the Regulation, it is a public document certifying inheritance rights, as heir, legatee, executor or administrator of the estate, which has an EU citizen, upon the determination of the law which is applicable to its deceased. Its application and use are not mandatory but discretionary on the part of the person who wishes to prove such ends. The Certificate will be issued in each Member State by the judicial authority or officials who have been attributed jurisdictional functions in matters of succession and according to a form to which they must be adjusted.
It is a document with self-probative value, being a valid Title for the registration of the inherited acquisition in the relevant register of a Member State of the EU (provided that it meets all the necessary requirements). The competent Authority, once issued the Certificate, will retain the original and provide a copy to the interested party, which shall be valid for six months, having to identify the list of persons who have been handed copies of such certificate.
o European Union rules on succession. 07/18/2016 o End of fiscal discrimination for non-residents in matters of succession. Possibility of claim for undue income. 07/18/2016