Brussels IV Regulation 650/2012 - Making a Will

Brussels IV Regulation 650/2012 - Making a Will

Making a Will is something we all put off until another day but is crucial when you own assets in any country.

English common law means English testators can leave their assets to whomsoever they wish, (subject to the Inheritance Family Provisions legislation). This is known as ‘testamentary freedom’

In continental Europe, however, a big part of an estate (often around half) is reserved for the surviving children of the deceased and must be equally divided between them. This ‘forced heirship’ makes it impossible to disinherit financially irresponsible children; it also makes it hard to reward the deserving sibling who may have given up a career to care for their parents who may be infirm.

Or to put more simply, a married couple may not leave everything to each other upon first death.

Under a relatively new EU regulation which came into force in August 2015, Regulation 650/2012 or more commonly known as ‘Brussels IV’ enables a person who has assets in any EU country (excluding Ireland and Denmark) to override the ‘forced heirship’ succession laws and instead comply with the succession laws of the country of your nationality or residence.

The advantages of the Regulation are:

·         The rules of ‘forced heirship’ imposed in other EU countries will not apply to you.

·         Your ‘testamentary freedom’ is restored.

·         Example being; a married couple with assets within an EU country can still leave ‘everything to each other upon first death.

Therefore, it is strongly recommended that your Will includes a clause to take advantage of the Regulation 650/2012 or ‘Brussels IV’ if you have assets in any other EU country.