Legal disputes during the grieving process are never ideal. The time is bad enough without further complications and everyone deserves that period to be as least stressful as possible. That is what inheritancelaw really understands. they are based in Manchester, Birmingham, and London.
Cross Border Inheritance
Recently, lawyers have cautioned that UK people with assets and belongings in Europe could, unbeknownst to them, leave them to the mercy of the English law after new rules have emerged, and cross border inheritance has come into effect.
I can’t tell you how mad this makes me. It’s another post Brexit thing and I’m sick of it.
The whole purpose of this change is to make it easier for EU residents by giving them the choice between either choosing the law of the country of their nationality or the last place they lived to have an effect on their inheritance.
And what’s more, the UK has elected not to follow the new rules but the changes will still affect the UK citizens with, as I said, assets and belongings in Europe. The biggest uproar from this is it allows people to be exempt from the ‘forced heirship’ rules that affect a large number of countries in the EU and dictate how assets are inherited throughout a family after death. The Society of Trust and Estate, as an example of how the rule will be used in action, has said a woman in the UK that owns a house in France would have had to have left it in her will to her husband and kids. This is due to the French Forced heirship rules.
However, because of the new rules implemented, she could choose to have the UK law affect her house, allowing her to leave it to a sibling if she chooses. It offers more freedom. Unfortunately, this also means that people not born in the UK could be affected by their laws without even noticing it.
This could be incredibly problematic and, as I have said, the grief period is a stressful and awful time anyway without this piling on top.
People that don’t want the English law to have an effect on their assets will need to alter their will to make this clear and people with assets across the EU are being urged to review their plans and wills.
If someone in your family or a close friend dies and you are an heir, as a basic rule, you can settle their inheritance with:
- A person authorized to perform legal actions of any EU country
- The courts where the recently deceased lived before their death.
Heirs Choosing the Court
So if there is an issue that needs to be resolved by a court, as an heir you will normally be required to go to the courts of the country in the EU where the deceased previously lived. On the other hand, if the deceased had, in fact, chosen that law of their nationality to apply to what they’re leaving behind, and that is also the nationality of an EU country, you and other heirs can present the issue to the EU courts of that country.
If you are an heir, you also need to prove your entitlement. Usually, this comes from a national document certifying your status. You can also ask the powers that be to grant you a European Certificate of Succession. So overall, the benefit of this is that it means its effects are identical throughout the EU regardless of where it was given and it’s recognized without any additional procedure. It can be obtained from any EU court.