At the beginning of August, the Luxembourg register of wills joined the European Network of Registers of Wills (ENRW). This is the eleventh register to be linked with its European counterparts, enabling legal practitioners settling successions from this State to consult the other member or partner registers on the network electronically (i.e. the Belgian, Bulgarian, Dutch, Estonian, French, Lithuanian, Polish, Romanian and Saint Petersburg registers; the Hungarian register also belongs to the network but only to request information from the other registers).
The European Network of Registers of Wills Association (ENRWA) is pursuing its aim of simplifying the search for wills abroad and making it easier to find out what they contain. Over 1000 cross-border searches have been made since the beginning of the year. In nearly 88% of cases, the heirs have been able to obtain the guarantee that no will had been registered abroad. It was then possible for the legal professional to settle the succession according to the rules of legal devolution.
And in 12% of cases, it was possible to respect the deceased’s last wishes, even though the State in which the will had been registered was not the same as the one from which the search had been conducted Over one hundred wills have thus been found easily, electronically, via the national registers of wills.
In order to provide legal professionals and European citizens with an ever-improving service, the ENRWA is currently implementing a project co-funded by the European Commission. The project is examining how the content of a will found abroad using the ENRW can be communicated to the authority in charge of settling the succession. The Cross-Border Wills project (CroBoWills) is a two-year project due to be completed in 2014. Its results will be accessible here: www.enrwa.eu.