Since 17 February 2015, Greek notaries have been able to search the European registers of wills interconnected to the ENRW platform, i.e. the Belgian, Bulgarian, Dutch, Estonian, French, Latvian, Lithuanian, Luxembourg, Polish and Romanian registers in addition to the Saint Petersburg register. The Austrian and Hungarian registers are also part of the European Network of Registers of Wills (ENRW) but only to search the other European registers of wills. Fourteen European registers are therefore linked via the ENRW platform. The German register should be joining this network soon.
The ENRW is used regularly and reveals the existence of a will in another State in nearly 12% of cases. The legal professional in charge of settling the estate can thus do so, taking the deceased’s last wishes into account. For the remaining 88% 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 facilitating 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 has recently completed its “Cross-border Wills” project, co-funded by the European Commission. This project examined how the content of wills can be sent to the authority in charge of settling the estate and involved creating practical factsheets for legal professionals, assisting them in this process. The reports and factsheets are freely available on the website www.enrwa.eu.