EU Brexit - Can You Trust Laws of Succession for Overseas Property?

Sam Orgill ProACT Partnership examines the impact of EU Laws on Overseas Property Assets in Euroland

In 2015 an EU directive on Laws of Succession became law in all EU countries other than those who opted out -  UK Ireland and Denmark. In the first step towards Brexit the UK choose not to give up sovereignty of its national Laws of Succession and hand them over to EU law. Once an EU directive is adopted into law the member state loses sovereignty on that aspect of law, and the 'supreme court' of justice moves to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.

EU Laws of Succession

The EU law of Succession is based upon on EU traditions dating back to the Romans: the principle being assets pass to blood relatives.  This distribution  to relatives is fixed and means that trusts, charities, friends, unmarried partners, step children and children born out of wedlock can lose out. 

UK law of succession allows each person to make a Will and leave benefits to people they choose, irrespective of the blood connection, marriage.  There are rules for distribution of an estate if you die and do not leave a WIll.

This could be a great cause of concern to Expats owning Overseas Property in the EU.


Forced Heirship When You Die

Under EU law if you habitually live in an EU country you must settle your worldwide Will in that country and would be subject to the local EU laws of succession unless you make a Will or make written changes to an existing Will.

Even after Brexit, an Expat Living or Working in the EU will be subject to the EU laws of succession. Make a Will to protect your family, dont trust to chance.

Who can you trust?

In crusader days Knights would hand over his castle and lock up their wives in a chastity belt then entrusted the keys to a friend who was responsible for protecting his assets.  This practice became part of English law and is a basis of inheritance tax trust and estate planning.


Make a Will and or Trust to protect EU and worldwide overseas property assets for your family and friends on death.  For more control, and protection from EU & Cyprus Laws of Succession, you could create a lifetime Family Trust to hold property, investment or business assets. A Family Trust avoids EU & Cyprus laws of succession that allow only blood relatives to benefit. By creating a Family Trust today for EU & Cyprus Property you could also make tax savings in capital gains, inheritance tax, IMPT and inheritance taxes on your death.

Add to your Will your wishes for Burial v Cremation and the type of funeral service you desire.


Look Forward – Plan Ahead

EU and Cyprus Laws of Succession takes control of your assets away from you on death. You Must Make a Will or make written changes to choose who benefits from your overseas property assets. ProACT can offer help and guidance to protect family and property for loved ones. Asset Protection is about looking forward to secure loved ones while also making inheritance tax savings. ProACT expat experts offer tax saving for people living and working and investing abroad. Find out more at our website.

Sam Orgill       CONTACT US

ProACT Partnership - Tax Saving Experts 

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