|New EU Rules Designed to Ease Cross-border Successions Become Law|
The rules aim to reduce legal headaches when a family member with property in another EU country passes away, reports the Parliament.
The new regulation on cross-border successions were proposed by the commission and formally adopted by member states last month.
It will make it easier for European citizens to handle the legal side of an international will or succession.
A German pensioner living in Portugal could, for example, choose to apply German law when planning his or her succession.
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 resident in another EU country, the rules are likely to be of interest to many more.
Member states now have three years to align their national laws so that the new EU rules become effective.
Recently, EU justice commissioner said, "After making life easier for couples involved in a cross-border divorce, we have now done the same for families dealing with the legal fallout after the loss of a loved one.
"Separate rules on successions in each EU country used to lead to a legal maze."
"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 EU is working to resolve everyday legal problems and save money for Europeans."
The new law, she said, makes it "considerably simpler" to settle international successions.
It provides a single criterion for determining both the jurisdiction and the law applicable in cross-border cases.
A commission source said, "This will represent a considerable improvement from the current situation in which citizens have great difficulty exercising their rights.
"The result will be faster and cheaper procedures, saving people time and money in legal fees."
The move forms part of the commission's effort to improve the rights of EU citizens.
The opinions expressed do not constitute investment advice and specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.
Published on our website on September 13, 2012