At the beginning of August, the Latvian register of wills joined the European Network of Registers of Wills (ENRW). It is the thirteenth register to be linked to its European counterparts, enabling legal professionals responsible for settling successions from this State to consult the other member registers and network partners electronically (i.e. the Belgian, Bulgarian, Dutch, Estonian, French, Lithuanian, Polish and Romanian registers in addition to the Saint Petersburg register – the Austrian and Hungarian registers are also part of the network but only to be able to search the other registers of wills).
The ENRW is used regularly and reveals the existence of a will in another State in nearly 16 percent of cases. Thus, the legal professional in charge of settling the estate can be sure to be in a position to do so, taking into account the deceased’s wishes. For the remaining 84% of cases, the heirs have the guarantee that a will has not been registered abroad.
The European Network of Registers of Wills Association (ENRWA) pursues its aim of favouring searches for wills abroad and making it easier to find out their content. In order to provide an ever improving service for legal professionals and European citizens, the ENRWA is currently putting the finishing touches to its “Cross-border Wills” project, co-funded by the European Commission. This project examines how the content of wills can be sent to the authority in charge of settling the estate and involves creating practical factsheets for legal professionals, assisting them in this process. The two-year project will end with a closing conference on 20 November 2014 to present the results to representatives from the European institutions, Members States and legal professionals dealing with successions in Europe. The reports and factsheets will be freely available on the website www.enrwa.eu.