Q&As

I have a number of clients with foreign assets. Should they be making a worldwide Will covering all worldwide assets, or a Will with a foreign lawyer in each jurisdiction choosing that nationality as the law of succession and allowing the foreign Will to be proved as it complies with foreign formalities?

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Published on LexisPSL on 06/11/2015

The following Wills & Probate Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • I have a number of clients with foreign assets. Should they be making a worldwide Will covering all worldwide assets, or a Will with a foreign lawyer in each jurisdiction choosing that nationality as the law of succession and allowing the foreign Will to be proved as it complies with foreign formalities?

The Practice Note: Will drafting—applying the EU Succession Regulation explains that EU Regulation No 650/2012 applies in all EU states except the UK, the Republic of Ireland and Denmark, in relation to deaths on or after 17 August 2015.

Despite the UK not being bound by it, it is relevant to the Will of any UK national who owns property in any EU Member State which is subject to the Regulation, and who is hoping to survive until 17 August 2015, because it enables a choice of succession law provided that the person making the choice is a national of, or habitually resident in (at the time of making the Will, or at his or her death), the EU Member State whose law is chosen, unless the testator was manifestly more closely connected with another EU Member State or had chosen to apply the law of the EU member state of their nationality.

While it is therefore possible for a testator to make a Will choosing English law to govern their succession as a whole, there still remain uncertainties as to how EU Regulation No 650/2012 will operate in the various EU Member States, as none of the EU Member States in which the Regulation will apply have yet determined how they will apply the Regulation or how to establish the necessary procedures, eg the issue

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