Do you own property in Europe? If so, have you reviewed your Will?

 

Will Soliictors Leicester
Will Soliictors Leicester

If you are a UK citizen and own assets in Europe you may be interested in this article.

As from the 17th August 2015 the law changed and new rules on cross-border inheritance in the EU came into force.

The UK has opted out of the new rules, but the changes could still affect you as a UK citizen with assets in the EU.

The new rules mean that you can opt either for the law of the country of your nationality or your last habitual residence to apply in dealing with how your estate held in Europe is inherited.

This will mean that you can opt out of the current “forced heirship” rules that apply in a number of EU countries.   In such countries the “forced heirship” rules mean that you are obliged to leave on your death any assets held in that country to your spouse and children .  Now under the new succession rule you can opt out and instead choose to apply UK law to those assets and therefore leave your estate as per your Will made in the UK.   However, if you are a UK resident but you were not born in the UK it could mean that the English laws will now apply to any overseas assets that you may own without you realising it.

However, conflicts may still arise in the future and the situation will not always be clear given that some EU member states, like the UK, have opted out of the new rules.  Please call us if you would like further advice on the matter.

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Author: Steven Mather
Steven is a Partner of Josiah Hincks and specialises in commercial litigation