Senior Associate Lawyer, Graziano Cecchetti of Giambrone Law, attended a two day course in March 2014 entitled "Planning Cross-Border Successions", at the ERA Academy of European Law in Trier, Germany.

This was an opportunity for the Private Client and Wealth Management Department to interact with many other professionals such as professors at renowned universities, experienced solicitors, barristers, notaries and researchers. The event was aimed at improving participants' legal skills, to ease the sharing of legal knowledge and to compare Italian law with different legislations in European legislation development.

The object of the course was to discuss the new European Regulation n.650/2012 on cross-border successions (where testators, heirs and/or assets are in different countries). The main topics covered were:

  • applicable law
  • jurisdiction
  • taxation and
  • The European Certificate of Succession.

Studies reveal that the mobility of people from one country to another is growing at a rapid rate and in order to ensure harmony in the succession process between Member States, the regulation provides criteria for the determination of both jurisdiction and applicable law, protecting the rights of heirs and legatees.

What is the new regulation about?

The purpose of the new regulation is to remove obstacles to facilitate the free movement of the section of people that presently face difficulties in asserting their rights in cross-border successions situations. In regards to the applicable law and jurisdiction, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union opted for the criteria of unity of succession and habitual residence of the deceased. Another important point of discussion was that of double taxation. The European Union attempts to avoid double-taxation between Member States in cross-border successions, when assets such as properties, holiday houses, bank accounts and bonds are located in more than one country.

Giambrone Law has acquired the necessary skills to handle probate and cross-border succession matters that are affected by the new European regulation and clients can be assured of exceptional legal assistance in all of the following activities:

  • facilitating the acquisition of assets though a cross-border probate and protect your inheritance rights as beneficiary;
  • advising you in relation to inheritance tax in order to avoid the double-taxation application if assets are located abroad or in different countries;
  • drafting a Will where heirs reside abroad and disposing of assets located overseas;
  • buying a property abroad.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.