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The EU Succession Regulation is now in effect. Advisers must ensure that both they and their client's are aware of its significant effects, says Rachel Diedrich

18 August 2015

Being able to leave your property to whoever you wish is regarded as an essential freedom in this country. This is not necessarily the case elsewhere. However the new EU Succession Regulation, known as Brussels IV, came into force on 17 August, offering unprecedented estate planning opportunities for individuals.
It is designed to provide greater certainty to succession laws across the EU.

The changes

Broadly speaking, when someone dies owning property in another EU country, the courts in that country will be obliged to accept the succession law of the country in which the deceased owner was habitually resident, as determining the way in which the property passes.

Alternatively the property owner has the option of electing in their will, which country's succession law should apply, as long as they were a national of that country. So in...

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