The European Union Recently Took Steps Toward Drafting Common Regulations For Inheritances and Wills to Determine Applicable National Law and Acknowledge Heirs Rights At the European Level

22 June 2011

The EU Ministries of Justice supported political guidance that will set the base for future regulations to acknowledge and execute inheritance acts.

The rules that currently apply are complex since the legislation varies greatly amongst the different member states.

In the 27-member EU, there are 450,000 cross-border inheritances per year – those in which the heir and deceased reside in different countries at the time of inheritance.

The intended regulations represent one of the most complex justice initiatives being undertaken by the EU, according to the Hungarian Justice Minister whose country currently holds the EU presidency.

The guidelines include the creation of a European certificate of succession that would allow all EU citizen heirs or estate administrator to more easily exercise their rights throughout the EU and without the requirement of any other formalities.

The proposed guidelines will not affect the national succession laws or the tax rules which apply to the inheritance.

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