Regulation (EU) No 650/2012 on international successions enters into application today. The Notaries of Europe welcome the implementation of this new instrument, which will simplify considerably successions in the European Union. Henceforth, the law of the habitual residence of the deceased will apply to the whole succession. However, citizens will have the option of choosing in advance the law of their nationality for the settlement of their succession. The Notaries of Europe also welcome the creation of the European Certificate of Succession (ECS), which proves the capacity as heir in all Member States and which will greatly facilitate procedures for beneficiaries.
In the majority of EU Member States, notaries are the main interlocutors for any issue related to succession law. This is why they are already taking action for the speedy and effective implementation of the new European regulation:
• On the www.successions-europe.eu website, they provide citizens with factsheets on the succession laws of the 22 Member Sates that have notaries, in three languages: English, French and the language of the country concerned.
• The Notaries of Europe actively support the interconnection of the national registers of wills undertaken by the ENRWA (European Network of Registers of Wills Association, www.enrwa.eu), for which they took the initiative and which enables notaries to search a foreign register via their national register. Currently, fifteen national registers are interconnected, making it easier to search for a will in Europe.
• In partnership with the ENRWA, the Notaries of Europe are also working on the creation and interconnection of national registers of European Certificates of Succession. The Belgian, French and Luxembourg registers will be interconnected by the end of the year.
Mr Jean Tarrade, President of the Council of the Notariats of the European Union (CNUE), declared: “The entry into application of the European regulation on international successions is a red-letter day. This legislation will make life easier for citizens and for practitioners dealing with successions, such as notaries. We now call upon the European institutions to continue to work in this direction, to go ahead and unify conflict-of-law rules at European level in other areas, such as matrimonial property regimes, the property consequences of registered partnerships and legal capacity and the protection of the vulnerable.”