Calling all clients with assets outside the UK

7 September, 2015

An EU succession law which is to apply to the estate of anyone who dies after 17 August this year may give you greater freedom to dispose of property you own in other parts of the EU. While the succession laws of certain countries, including England and Wales, generally allow an individual to direct how they would like their estate to pass, this is not the case in all countries. This can cause real problems for UK based clients owning property elsewhere as they can be bound by restrictive rules in those countries.


The EU regulation, excitingly titled “Brussels IV”, makes it possible for the succession law of the place of someone’s nationality to apply to their UK estate and to property owned in other EU countries where restrictions may exist. This greater flexibility is much welcomed but the devil is in the detail and if you are affected by this we recommend a review of your Will and succession planning to ensure that what you have in place both achieves what you want and protects against any unintended tax consequences.