Important informations for testators with usual abode to a foreign country

European law of inheritance regulation (EuErbVO)

Since August 17, 2015 the European Inheritance Law Regulation is applicable in all Member States of the European Union except the United Kingdom, Ireland and Denmark.

Whoever’s habitual residence of a european is abroad and dies after August 17, 2015, will inherit under the jurisdiction of the European Inheritance Law Regulation with their entire estate.

Attention: the habitual residence is not equivalent to residence for a habitual residence no re-registration is required. Even if one maintains a tax resident in Germany, but in fact usually resides abroad and dies in that country. The foreign inheritance law is applicable.

If a German moves to Austria for their retirement, to establish their habitual residence there, should think about whether he / she actually wants to regulate their estate under Austrian, inheritance law.

If this is not the case, people who reside abroad should consider – best with attorneys help – if they want to write in their will that German inheritance should be applicable.

Only in this case German Inheritance Law is still applicable!

According to the new regulation, the court of the Member State, where the deceased was habitually resident at the time of his death, is responsible for deciding on the estate, Article 4 EuErbVO.

This can be prevented with a certain clause. It must be included in the will on behalf of the testator.

I highly recommended seeking legal assistance before writing a will, especially since the European Inheritance Law Regulation is relatively new and complicated. It is not tried and tested yet.