11 Nov

The European Succession Regulation- How this will continue to affect British people even after Brexit

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The European Succession Regulation (650/2012) came into force in Spain on 17 August 2015. This Regulation does not apply in the UK, Denmark or Ireland. However, British people who have property or any other interests in Spain are affected (and will continue to be affected after Brexit) by the European Succession Regulation.

The Succession Regulation changes the rules previously applicable for succession in Spain (for death prior to 17 August 2015 the previous Spanish legal system will continue to apply). The UK is regarded as a Third State for the purpose of the Succession Regulation. Whilst the basic principle of the European Succession is that the law of the habitual residence of the deceased will apply to the succession of their estate, unless they have previously elected their national law to apply in their Will, how all this works in practice is different depending on whether the law of habitual residence is the law of a Member State where the Succession Regulation applies (NB the UK is not a Member State for the purpose of this Regulation) or whether the law of the deceased’s habitual residence is the law of a Third State (e.g. English law).

When the law of the deceased’s habitual residence is the law of a Third State, determining the law ultimately applicable to the deceased’s estate can be a lot more complex, because we then need to take into account not only the internal testate or intestate rules of the Third State, but also the rules of conflicts of laws of that Third State. And as a result of this the law of Another Third State or the law of a Member State could end up becoming applicable to the succession.

The above matters will not change after Brexit. Thus, if you have any concerns about the above matters please contact us as soon as possible. Waiting for Brexit to happen (and regardless of any terms finally agreed for Brexit) will not change anything.

 

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