The EU will have a European Certificate of Succession

The European Parliament approved the new rules to easier the cross-border inheritances, thus avoiding costly legal disputes and cutting red tape for heirs. In addition, the new rules will create a European Certificate of Succession that would not be mandatory. These new rules will apply in the EU except in Denmark, UK and Ireland if the Council gives its final approval.

MEPs adopted in plenary session following the approval by the Legal Affairs Committee, the Regulation proposed to make easier to settle inheritances and avoid disputes when someone dies and leaves a will and the legal systems of more than one Member State are involved. The new regulation would have no impact on the situation of people who remain resident in their home country; and it would not apply in UK and Ireland, as their respective governments decided to exercise their right to opt out, nor in Denmark, as it is always the case for these matters.

The European Parliament introduces two new principles for dealing with international successions. First, if someone dies in a Member State that is not their home country, their succession would generally be dealt with under the law of the Member State where they last had their place of "habitual residence", by the courts and authorities of that Member State. Moreover, the person drawing up a will would also have the option of having his or her will read under the law of his or her Member State of origin.

In addition, the new regulation will also create a European Certificate of Succession in order to ensure that the heirs, creditors and competent authorities apply the terms of the succession directly, using swifter and cheaper procedures. Use of this certificate would not be mandatory.