12 October 2015 #Private Client
The Brussels IV regulations have recently been introduced and affect all those owning property overseas in any of the 27 EU member states other than Denmark, Ireland and the UK.
In short, the Brussels IV regulations were designed to simplify the succession process in Europe for all those who die after 17 August 2015. This is a very welcome development, bearing in mind the number of countries in the EU with forced heirship rules, which are often complicated and unclear.
Although the UK opted out of the regulations together with Ireland and Denmark, the regulations still apply to UK residents who own assets in the other EU member states. With careful planning, UK residents can now choose the law of England and Wales to govern the succession of not only their UK assets but also their assets situated in other EU member states.
If you own property in any of the EU member states who have not opted out of the regulations and have not updated your Will since the passing of the Brussels IV regulations, we strongly recommend that you do so. A simple amendment to your Will to include a ‘choice of law clause’ can save a huge amount of both time and money in the future and is the best way to ensure that all your assets pass to those chosen by you.
To request additional information or if you have any queries about the regulations, please don’t hesitate to contact a member of our private client team.