The EU Regulation on International Successions became applicable on 17 August 2015. It unifies and simplifies the management of cross-border successions involving several EU Member States. The regulation does not affect the processing of national matters of succession, and does not apply to taxation.
The regulation contains provisions on which a Member State’s court of law has jurisdiction over international successions, and which state’s legislation will be applied. The regulation also contains provisions on the recognition of decisions on successions and their enforcement in other Member States.
The principal rule is that the authority in matters of estate administration and the distribution of an estate falls on the court of law of the Member State in which the deceased resided upon their death, and this state’s legislation will be applied. However, while alive, the deceased may use their will to stipulate that the legislation of the country in which they hold citizenship upon making the choice of law, or upon their death, will be applied. The choice of law enacted before the adoption of the regulation will remain in force.
The European Certificate of Succession is now in use
The European Certificate of Succession, which can be used by heirs, legatees, executors of wills and administrators of estates to prove their position and authority in another Member State, was introduced for use from 17 August 2015. This facilitates the management of matters of succession in situations where the deceased owns property in several Member States. The certificate is only granted to the estates of persons who have died on 17 August 2015 or later, and it cannot be applied for in advance.
An application for a European Certificate of Succession can be submitted after the death of the deceased in the state that has jurisdiction over a matter related to the estate. Use of the certificate is optional. In Finland, applications for Certificates of Succession are handled by the Local Register Office of Helsinki.
- European Certificate of Succession € 180
- Copy of a European Certificate of Succession to a person other than the applicant € 30
- Extension of the validity of a copy of a European Certificate of Succession € 30
Nordic countries will also take the changes into account
With regard to the entry into force of the EU Regulation on International Successions, the Nordic countries have agreed on the changes to the Nordic Convention on Succession concerning inheritance, wills and estate administration, based on which the rules regarding the choice of law now correspond with the provisions applicable in the EU. After the entry into force of the EU Succession Regulation, however, the application of the Nordic Convention on Succession is very limited in Finland and Sweden.
The United Kingdom and Ireland have excluded themselves from applying the EU Regulation on International Successions. Denmark does not participate in the EU’s civil cooperation. The new regulation does not apply to these countries.
For more information:
Local Register Office of Helsinki, Albertinkatu 25, FI-00180 Helsinki,
Phone: +358 29 55 36 999, Email: kirjaamo.helsinki@maistratti