Will drafting—EU Succession (Brussels IV)
Will drafting—EU Succession (Brussels IV)

The following Wills & Probate guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Will drafting—EU Succession (Brussels IV)
  • The Succession Regulation
  • Application in the UK
  • Habitual residence
  • European Certificate of Succession
  • Transitional arrangements

BREXIT IMPACT: As of exit day (31 January 2020) the UK is no longer an EU Member State. The effect of Brexit on the EU Succession Regulation (Regulation (EU) No 650/2012) is considered in Practice Note: Will drafting—applying the EU Succession Regulation.

The essential validity of a Will of movables, or of a gift of movables is governed by the law of the testator's domicile at the time of his death. The essential validity of a Will of immovables or of a gift of immovables, is governed by the law of the country where the immovables are situate, the lex situs. It is the testator's domicile at the time of their death, not at the time of their Will, which is applicable, so that a change of domicile after the testator executes their Will can affect the essential validity of the dispositions contained in that Will.

Presently, each EU Member State has a different law on succession, usually based on nationality and domicile, so if a person dies owning assets in several EU Member States, their estate must be administered subject to the formalities in each EU Member State with each having its own connecting factors. There is also no provision or agreement in private international law as to how conflicts of laws between the different EU Member States are to be