New EU probate laws?
Probate for ex pats and those with second homes could soon become much easier, with the introduction of EU probate regulations which state that an individual can choose whether their estate should be handled by the laws pertaining to their native country, or the country in which they currently reside, in the event of their death.
Currently, there is often a great deal of confusion after the death of a person who resides abroad for at least part of the year, with many individuals advised to prepare wills both in England and in that country to satisfy their entire estate. However, probate law throughout European countries varies widely, which can mean that beneficiaries are sometimes both surprised and disappointed at the outcome of the probate procedure.
These changes to legislation would also see the introduction of the proposed European Certificate of Succession which will act as a means of ensuring that all inheritances and beneficiary rights are protected, regardless of where the death was registered.
This is certainly great news for relevant individuals and is likely to result in a significant drop in ensuring disputes. However, should a will not be prepared at all, estates will then be distributed according to the intestacy laws of that country, so if you have moved abroad or enjoy your second home in another country, it is essential that you have a will prepared right now.