EU Succession Regulation N. 650/2012
Starting from 17 August 2015 EU citizens will be able to elect whether the applicable law on their death will be that of their habitual residence or that of their country of nationality.
This is the important content of the EU Succession Regulation N. 650/2012. In fact, according to the Council of the Notariats of the European Union (CNUE), one succession in ten has an international element and these numbers seem destined to increase over the next several years. This means that is increasingly important to establish in a precise way the single law (and, consequently, the single authority) that will be applied at a certain succession.
New EU rules for cross-border successions
First of all, the new European Regulation establish an important principle (art. 4): the courts of the Member State in which the deceased had his habitual residence at the time of death shall have jurisdiction to rule on the succession as a whole. In other words, this means that a single law will govern the whole succession. Undoubtely, this is a fundamental step towards semplification of cross-border successions regulamentation.
Where, by way of exception, it is clear from all the circumstances of the case that, at the time of death, the deceased was manifestly more closely connected with another State, the law applicable to the succession shall be the law of that other State (art. 21).
But The exception: when, exceptionally, the circumstances present a situation whereby, at the time of death, the deceased had manifestly closer connections with another state, the prevailing law will be that of this state.
But, last but not least, the regulation gives every citizen the possibility to choose as the law to govern his succession as a whole the law of the State whose nationality he possesses at the time of making the choice or at the time of death. The choice shall be made expressly in a declaration in the form of a disposition of property upon death(art. 22).