The Notaries of Europe welcome today’s adoption by the EU Council of the proposal for a regulation on jurisdiction, applicable law, recognition and enforcement of decisions, acceptance and enforcement of authentic instruments in matters of succession and the creation of a European Certificate of Succession. They consider the new regulation to be a major step towards providing legal certainty for the thousands of families in Europe confronted with international successions.
For Mr Tilman Götte, the president of the Council of the Notariats of the European Union, “the new regulation clarifies the rules applicable to international successions and brings greater legal certainty for citizens and their families. We are pleased that the principle of ‘controlled autonomy’ has been kept, according to which the law applicable to the succession is that of the place of habitual residence of the deceased. At the same time, citizens have the option to plan their succession by choosing the law of their nationality. We also welcome the creation of a European Certificate of Succession, which will provide evidence of the capacity of heir in all the Member States and will make the steps the beneficiaries need to take considerably easier”.
Informing the general public about this new legislative instrument will now be a priority for the Notaries of Europe. As such, they underline the utility of the Successions in Europe website (www.successions-europe.eu) which provides factsheets in 23 languages on the EU countries’ laws relating to successions. Updates are foreseen, thanks to which European citizens will find information on the new regulation in the language of their choice. Furthermore, the Notaries of Europe will be happy to contribute to the European institutions’ information campaigns to inform European citizens about the new instrument and its consequences for succession planning and settlement.
In order to respect the last will of the deceased, the Notaries of Europe also wish to insist on the importance of being able to find the last will drawn up easily, and also in a cross-border context. The Notaries of Europe therefore support the interconnection of the national registers of wills created by the ENRWA (European Network of Registers of Wills Association, www.enrwa.eu) which enables notaries to consult a foreign register via their national register.
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