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EU rules offer more freedom on legacies

26 August 2015
Issue: 4515 / Categories: News , Inheritance Tax

New rules will allow individuals to choose the law governing succession of their EU assets on death if they update their will.

New rules introduced by the European Commission on 17 August will allow individuals across EU member states to choose whether their foreign assets will be governed by local succession rules or those in their country of nationality.
Before the change Britons were subject to “forced heirship” rules prescribing who was entitled to inherit their estates. For example if a British couple owned a holiday home in France the ownership transfers to the children and gives the surviving spouse a life interest only. This was irrespective of any intention written in an English will.
The European Succession Regulation known as Brussels IV aims to simplify cross-border EU succession. It will allow individuals to choose the law governing the succession of their EU assets on death. Although the UK did not opt in to Brussels...

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