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European Certificate of Succession

And the day has finally arrived when I get to order a European Certificate of Succession in one of my cases!

I have been waiting for a chance to use the certificate in my daily work since 17 August 2015 when the European Inheritance regulation started to apply. A European Certificate of Succession can be used by heirs, executors of wills and administrators of estates in order to prove their position and authority in another Member State.

In this particular case I am assisting heirs resident in Finland to claim property located in Luxembourg, that belongs to the estate of the deceased. Finland has jurisdiction since the deceased was resident in Finland at the time of death and had made no will stipulating otherwise. Consequently the certificate is granted by a Finnish authority, namely the Local Register Office of Uusimaa in Finland (Maistraatti/Magistraten).

In Finland you have the choice of ordering the certificate in Finnish or in Swedish. The form must then be translated into the language used by the receiving country, which was quite surprising and in my view very unpractical. Luckily I was able to obtain a form that the translator could work with from the Local Register Office.

The form at the web did not work properly, so I had to fill out the form by hand and then mail the form and attachments by regular mail. After not too many mishaps I got the certificate and sent it to Luxembourg. In Luxembourg they had never heard to such a certificate, but accepted it after a few rounds!

The form was complicated and the translation process very unpractical - but I managed to help my clients with the certificate. After a few years, I'm certain the process will get easier.

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