The European Union Succession Regulation (the “Regulation”) entered into force on the 17th of August 2015 and it regulates the succession rules of persons who have passed away on or following this date. The primary objective of the Regulation is to provide a simplified legal framework regarding successions and wills with cross-border elements both inside and outside the European Union.
The Regulation is applicable in all Member States of the EU except Great Britain, Ireland and Denmark, which opted out of the Regulation.
The main principle is that the applicable law to the succession as a whole is the law of the Country in which the deceased had his/her habitual residence at the time of death (Article 21.1) even if this is the law of a Country that is not a Member State of the European Union (Article 23). Furthermore, a person may choose as the law governing his/her succession as a whole, the law of the Country whose nationality he possesses (Article 22).