Recently, the European Commission in Brussels accepted a new proposal to simplify dealing with a person’s assets in a country that is not their main residence. At the moment, if you own a holiday home in Malaga, but live in England, Spanish law will apply to the holiday home, and English law will apply to the rest of your estate. This can make dealing with the estate after you die an administrative nightmare for your family. They will end up having to get advice from specialist solicitors who deal with international inheritance law, as well as English law. This costs a lot more money, and could reduce the size of your family’s inheritance.
If there is an inheritance dispute over the estate, the present rules make it almost impossible to deal with. As a result, people are often put off from bringing a claim.
The new proposal is intended to make the whole process much easier for families to deal with. For example, the holiday home in Malaga will fall under English law, and will be dealt with alongside all your other assets in England. Spain will recognise this, and will not cause any complications. You will also be able to choose which law applies to you, so everything could fall under Spanish law if you want it to.
There is also intended to be a “European Certificate of Succession”. This will be similar to a Grant of Probate which is issued in this country. This will allow your executors to deal with your assets in other countries, without any red tape.
All together this will be a much faster and cheaper way of dealing with someone’s estate. In addition, people bringing claims against estates will now be able to claim against foreign assets also. The new proposal is therefore a welcome adjustment for both families, and the solicitors acting for them, during an already very difficult and stressful time.
Sometimes people are not even aware that they can bring a claim against an estate. If you are in any doubt, then contact our specialist litigation team who deal with Inheritance Disputes on 01942 777777. If you are of limited financial means, you may even be entitled to Legal Aid, and we can advise you of this quickly over the phone.