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New EU Rules On Cross-Border Successions Set To Take Effect Friday
298 days ago
(RTTNews) - A new regulation on cross-border successions will come into effect across the European Union after its publication in the Official Journal on Friday, the European Commission said in a statement issued Thursday.
Last month, the Council of Justice Ministers of the European Union had approved the regulation proposed by the European Commission to simplify legal procedures related to the settlement of cross-border successions in the 27-member bloc.
The new regulation is aimed at easing the legal burden faced by families when one of their members with property dies in another EU member-nation. The rules will bring legal certainty to the estimated 450,000 European families dealing with an international succession each year. With over 12.3 million EU citizens living in another EU country, the rules are likely to be of interest to many more.
The new law also 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.
"With this law we are simplifying processes and bringing legal security to citizens. With this EU regulation in place we are making it easier to identify which law will apply in each case. This is just one example of how the European Union is working to resolve everyday legal problems and save money for Europeans," EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding said in a statement.
The European Commission had proposed the regulation to simplify the settlement of international successions on October 14, 2009. Subsequently, the European Parliament approved it in March this year. EU member states will now have three years to align their national laws to these new provisions, once published in the EU journal.
The new regulation will be directly applicable in all EU member states except Denmark, which has an opt-out in matters concerning justice and home affairs, as well as the United Kingdom and Ireland which did not opt into the initial proposal within the three months.
Once in force, the new rules will ensure that the succession to the estate of a deceased person will be dealt with as a whole, irrespective of the nature or the location of the assets. One single authority will be in charge of the succession, and one single law will apply to the succession. Also, succession decisions by a court in any of the EU member states under the new regulation will be recognized and enforceable throughout the EU.
The new regulation will respect the existing systems of dealing with succession matters in the various EU member states and will not impose a judicial system on those member states in which succession matters are currently settled out of court. The new regulation will not apply to tax issues.
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