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On August 17, 2015: new international successions


As of August 17, 2015, the European Regulation on international successions comes into application in the European Union. It concerns all Member States except the UK, Ireland and Denmark.

The 22 European notaries must adapt their practice of international successions to this small revolution. For that, for almost three years, to the training of notaries and employees were held throughout Europe with the financial support of the European Commission. They will continue also in the coming years

The regulation essentially brings the principle of the unity of the law of succession: now one national law will govern the whole of the estate. By default, it will be the law of the habitual residence of the deceased but it may also be the national law if the person has made that choice before his death. It should be noted that the Regulation has a universal scope. Thus, by default, a Korean national habitually reside in Marseille would French law applicable to his succession, unless he had previously opted for Korean law.

The regulation governs only the aspects of civil law. Estate tax is not affected by the European regulation. So the usual rules still apply.

For French nationals and habitually resident in France, nothing changes.

The French living abroad and persons resident in France and have another nationality are invited to attach with their lawyer to discuss the possible need for a choice of law. Indeed, from one country to another, the rules on reserves and the protection of the surviving spouse can be very different from what we usually know.

Other changes introduced by the Regulations, including include the creation of the European Certificate of Succession (CSE), a new mode of heir . Established by the authority designated by each state, shall be issued in France exclusively by notaries. Registration of CSE will be made in national registries.
With ENRWA (Association of the European network of registers of wills) and the interconnection of national registers, notaries can search the CSE issued in another state. This will facilitate the processing of cross-border succession cases.