Inheritance simplified under new cross-border EU rules
(BRUSSELS) - EU cross-border inheritance headaches will be simplified under new proposals Tuesday for heirs of the half a million people who die each year leaving property and accounts in more than one member state.
The draft rules agreed by the European parliament and expected to be formally adopted by end June provide for succession cases connected to several states to be settled by one nation only, and under one set of rules.
Currently heirs and legatees to the around 450,000 cross-border successions each year are faced with complex legal issues involving judicial systems in several states.
Under the new rules, which will take three years to enter into force once formally adopted by the European Union, the succession to a deceased person will be dealt with as a whole, wherever the assets.
The inheritance will come under the law of the nation where the deceased habitually lived just before they died, unless the person opted before death for the law of his or her own national state.
Heirs will be able to stake their claims in any other state using a European Certificate of Succession to come into force under the new rules, which will not however apply to tax issues.
Denmark, which has opted out of EU justice and home affairs matters, will not be involved. Neither will Britain and Ireland, which failed to take part in the scheme.
Further details, European Parliament:
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