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Own a home or business interests in the EU? Now is the time to review your Will

As post-Brexit changes continue to touch upon many areas of our lives, one area which has seen relatively little impact has been Wills and Probate.

The status quo continues to exist because the UK did not sign-up for the Brussels IV Regulation in 2012, which was designed to unify succession processes throughout the bloc.

However, the existing rules only apply to ‘moveable assets’ – typically money and investments held in the EU.

Rachel Blackburn, an Associate with Mander Hadley, who specialises in Wills, said: “Whilst a UK Will can apply to movable assets in the EU and indeed around the world, any immoveable assets held overseas – such as homes and businesses – will not normally be covered by a UK Will.

“This is one point where Brexit has had some impact – previously, Brussels IV allowed for England jurisdictional law to be specified in an English law clause in their Will.

“Now, local succession laws will apply and they can be significantly different from the UK’s. France’s succession laws, for example, contain the concept of ‘forced heirship’, which requires part of the estate to be passed to a person’s children, even if they are survived by their spouse.

“In situations where UK nationals own immoveable assets, for example an interest in an EU company or a holiday home abroad, it is sensible to take expert legal advice. Depending on the country concerned, it may be a prudent for a local Will to be set up too.”

For advice on Wills including a review of your international assets, please get in touch with us.

Mander Hadley

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