Changes to the Inheritance process under European Succession Regulation 650/2012


The growing importance of cross border successions within the European Union and the difficulties and complications resulting from the diversity of succession and private international law rules relating to succession, prompted the European Commission to examine the possibility of introducing a Regulation that would facilitate and streamline cross border successions. 

Hence as from the 17th of August 2015, the European Succession Regulation 650/2012 was introduced which impacts on all European citizens living within the European Union and is directly applicable and binding on all EU Member States excluding the United Kingdom, Denmark and Ireland who are not signatories to the Regulation.

This Regulation aims to harmonize the conflict of law rules on cross border successions and provides a single connecting factor that will determine the applicable law and jurisdiction. Most importantly it ensures that each succession is handled in a coherent manner, under a single legal system and by one single court avoiding in this way the possibility of conflicting decisions and parallel proceeding in the Courts of different Member States.

The main characteristics of the Regulation are as follows:

·         The basic provision is that the courts of the Member State in which the deceased had his/her habitual residence at the time of death shall have jurisdiction to rule on the succession as a whole unless the deceased has chosen and expressly stated in his/her Will that he or she wishes for the laws of the country of their nationality to apply.  


·         Parties interested in an estate such as heirs, executors or administrators will be able to apply to the courts in the relevant jurisdiction for a European Certificate of Succession which will prove their legal status in any of the EU Member States. Such a Certification will be issued by the authorities of the participating Member State in which the deceased was habitually resident and will be recognized by all of the participating Member States.


Hence the Regulation will have far-reaching implications for all cross-border successions whereby the new rules will bring greater certainty, simplicity and uniformity.




For further information on this topic please contact

Ms. Nada Starovlah ( at SOTERIS PITTAS & CO LLC,

by telephone (+357 25 028460) or by fax (+357 25 028461)


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