Do You Own a Property in the EU? New Rules on Inheritance May Mean You Need to Review Your Will | Curtis Parkinson

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Wills and probate

Do You Own a Property in the EU? New Rules on Inheritance May Mean You Need to Review Your Will

If you own a property in an EU country, new EU rules on succession/inheritance mean that you will no longer be obliged to meet local “forced heirship” rules, which basically dictate who must inherit their EU investments and property.

From 17 August 2015, the new rules allow EU nationals to choose or elect whether their foreign assets Will be governed under local succession rules or their country of nationality. In the UK, people are free to leave their assets to anybody they wish, as long as this is clearly drawn up in a valid Will.

Most EU member states have some form of forced heirship, where at least a share of property and other assets must be left to certain members of the immediate family, usually a child or spouse.

The new rules, known as Brussels IV, aims to simplify cross border EU succession. It will allow individuals to choose the law governing the succession of their EU assets on death. It will not affect inheritance tax, which is normally determined by where you are resident, where you are domiciled and the location of your assets.

An example of this in practice would be: Joe Bloggs in the UK has property in France. He would have been obliged to leave it to his wife and children under French “forced heirship” rules. Now under the new succession rules, he can instead choose to apply UK law to the property, which would enable him to leave the property to somebody else. This would need to be expressly stated in the Will that UK law is to apply.

If you have assets and property in the EU and would like to discuss this further we would recommend that you contact us to review your Will and where appropriate make necessary changes

Please call 0115 9647762 or email for further information.

Please note that all views, comments or opinions expressed are for information only and do not constitute and should not be interpreted as being comprehensive or as giving legal advice. No one should seek to rely or act upon, or refrain from acting upon, the views, comments or opinions expressed herein without first obtaining specialist, professional or independent advice. While every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, Curtis Parkinson cannot be held liable for any errors, omissions or inaccuracies.

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