EU rules on inheritances Change from 17 August 2015

New EU rules on inheritances.

The EU  Rules relating to how assets located abroad of people who die after 17 August 2015 has been updated and for many , improved.
• Citizens of the EU can now choose whether the law applicable to their succession should be that of their last habitual residence or that of their nationality;
• a given succession is treated coherently, by one single court applying one single law;
• parallel proceedings and conflicting judicial decisions are avoided;
• decisions relating to successions given in one EU country are recognised and enforced in other EU countries.

Who does it affect?

If you own property abroad, in an EU country , then you !
Many Irish people have property abroad – in Spain, Portugal, France and the like. Most will recall having to make Wills in the country where the property is located. Local rules might apply a different result in the event of a death than would happen under the person’s Irish Will. It has lead to added cost, difficulties at what is already a distressing time and so on. These new Rules can help clarify , unify and ease the administration of affairs after a death. In that sense ,they are to be welcomed. However , they are not without some added risk , if appropriate advice is not taken.

What do you do now?

If you have such property, then you still need a Will in the local country. But you should now seek advice as to whether it should be updated to declare that Irish Law should apply instead of the local law. You should also update your Irish Will as many current Wills have deliberately omitted dealing with the foreign premises to date.
It is VITAL , however that tax advice be also obtained – you might unwittingly solve one problem , only to create another and perhaps far more expensive one !.
If you have EU- based property outside Ireland, contact us for further help.
Neil J. Butler & Co.
Solicitors. 00353 504 24173