EU Topic - Succession Law

Accelerating the settlement of successions in Europe

Succession laws vary from one country to another. Some have rules on the reserved portion of the estate, according to which part of the succession is reserved for certain heirs; others do not. Some others encourage gifts and facilitate anticipation of a succession.

Succession law is one of the main areas of notaries' activities in most EU Member States. In some countries notaries perform their duties simply at the request of potential heirs. Other countries, such as Austria and the Czech Republic, have a judicial procedure whereby the notary is involved as a representative of the court.

The CNUE calls on its Succession Law working group's expertise to achieve effective and reliable solutions for European citizens. It encourages the implementation of European legislation defining the rules on conflicts of laws and competency, in addition to the procedure for recognition and enforcement of judgements and authentic instruments, and which would provide for the creation of a European Certificate of Succession.

In this context, the CNUE favours guided autonomy with regard to the wishes of the people involved. It would be up to them to choose the law governing the succession, provided they have a bona fide link with this law (that of their nationality or habitual residence).

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