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New EU rules applicable as from today 17 August 2015

New EU rules to ease cross-border successions applicable to the succession of persons who die on or after 17 August 2015! This is music to a passionate family lawyer's ears!

The EU regulation 650/2012 or Brussels IV is a huge step in the right direction to facilitate cross-border successions.

As from today, 17 August 2015 EU citizens are able to choose whether the law applicable to their succession should be that of their last habitual residence or that of their nationality (Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom do not participate, but will be effected indirectly).

The Regulation also creates a European Certificate of Succession and the forms connected to the certificate can be used as of today, 17 August 2015. The certificate is issued by the authority appointed by the member state. In Finland the authority is the Local Register Office in Helsinki.

In practice the rules and forms will make it easier to handle and understand the legal side of an international succession. And it’s about time since 450 000 cross-border successions take place in the EU every year, representing an estimated value of more than EUR 120 billion.

As the regulation is a product of many negotiations and compromises it will be very interesting when the first cases regarding the interpretation of the regulations reaches the courts.

I can't wait until I get to apply the regulation in practice!

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