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New EU regulations on inheriting property abroad

10th December 2015

New EU regulations on inheriting property abroad

On 17 August 2015, a new EU directive came into force, making it essential for anyone who owns property abroad to review their will. Our team of experts explain the implications of the new European laws on inheritance.

Owning a property abroad, whether as your second home or an investment, can be a dream come true – offering the potential of a holiday home for friends and family, as well a place to escape the British weather. If you are working or studying abroad you may have decided that buying a property was a better alternative than renting.

Although the UK has opted out of this particular directive, it will still affect anyone who owns property or lives abroad. Each European country has a different approach on inheritance and succession rights. Many have ‘forced heirship’ rules that insist that you cannot leave everything to your spouse and have to leave certain percentage of your estate to your children. Some, like France insist that you have to follow their rules even if you are not French.

The advice for anyone who owns property or lives abroad is to take legal advice to make sure your will covers your overseas property. Under the EU directive you are allowed to choose which law should be applicable to your estate – that of your habitual residence or that of your nationality. By making a will, you can choose which jurisdiction should apply and make sure your loved ones are provided for as you wish.

If you live, work or own property abroad it is vital for you to make a will, or review your existing will to ensure you are protected.

For more information contact the wills and probate team on 01782 525000 or email info@myerssolicitors.co.uk.

The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice, and the law may have changed since this article was published. Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.