EU Succession Law: What Brussels IV means for wills and inheritance in Europe
Catherine Robson lays out the EU’s succession law, and how it affects you.
Determining which law will govern matters arising from a deceased person’s estate is of significant importance: the laws of succession can vary dramatically between states as can inheritance tax liability.
Under the law of England and Wales, individuals generally have the right to dispose of their estate upon death, via a valid will, in any manner that they choose. However, several countries have rules in place which restrict this right by requiring a certain portion of the estate to be left to direct descendants or spouse of the deceased.
These ‘forced heirship’ rules cannot be overridden by a will and may consequently deter individuals from purchasing property overseas.
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