Europe’s notaries pleased with the adoption of rules on cross-border successions



Press Release

Brussels, 7 June 2012 – Europe’s notaries are pleased with the EU Council’s adoption on 7 June 2012 of regulations covering jurisdiction, applicable law, recognition and execution of decisions and certified public deeds in matters of succession, as well as the creation of a European succession certificate. They are of the opinion that the new text represents considerable progress towards greater legal certainty for the thousands of families in Europe who have to deal with an international succession. Tilman Götte, President of the Council of Notariats of the European Union, considers that “the new regulation clarifies the rules applicable to international successions and provides greater legal certainty for citizens and their families. We are glad that the principle of ‘controlled autonomy’ has been retained: this means that the law applicable to the succession is that of the habitual residence of the deceased. At the same time, citizens are given the opportunity to plan their succession, choosing their own national law. We also recognise as positive the creation of a  European succession certificate which will constitute proof of the status of heir in all Member States and will considerably facilitate procedures for those having the right to inherit”.

Making the general public aware of this new legal instrument is now a priority for Europe’s notaries. To this end, they emphasise the usefulness of the site “Successions en Europe” ( which provides citizens with information on the inheritance laws of EU countries in no fewer than 23 languages. Regular updates will allow European citizens to find information on the new regulation in their language of choice. Furthermore, Europe’s notaries stand ready to assist European institutions in any way possible in publicity campaigns aimed at informing the public about the new rules and their implications for the planning and regulation of inheritance.

In order for the deceased’s intentions to be respected, Europe’s notaries emphasise the importance of having easy access to his or her last will and testament, especially in a cross-border context. For that reason, Europe’s notaries support the project to interconnect the national registers of wills being implemented by ARERT (Association du Réseau Européen des Registres de Testaments,, which will allow a notary to access a foreign registry by way of his own national registry.

Altri Articoli



During this health and economic emergency, Europe’s 45,000 notaries are personally and collectively committed to playing their full role in the community effort to overcome the pandemic and to mitigate as far as possible the significant personal losses that are and will be suffered by large numbers of citizens



Thanks to these two Regulations, the conflict of laws rules are now unified between the Member States participating in the enhanced cooperation to determine the applicable law and the competent court which will decide on the division of assets in the event of separation of the couple or death



Produced with financial support from the European Commission, this website provides information on the evidentiary value of authentic acts drawn up in the 22 countries of the European Union familiar with notarial practice in matters of succession and family law



He succeeds Spanish notary José Manuel García Collantes.



From today he is President of the 40,000 notaries of the European Union – He takes over from Mr Paolo Pasqualis



These stories, from times past and present, emerge from the provisions of the last wills and testaments of famous men and women as well as of ordinary people. They make interesting and in some cases even comical reading. Those who choose to give a noble end to their existence through a charitable bequest turn their will into a story of love for their fellow man and send a message of hope to new generations.