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Criteria for habitual residence in cross-border inheritance cases

The EU-Regulation on jurisdiction, applicable law, recognition and enforcement of decisions and acceptance and enforcement of authentic instruments in matters of succession and on the creation of a European Certificate of Succession – Regulation No 650/2012 makes the „habitual residence“ of the testator the sole link to the question which law is to applied. 

But how to decide which is the „habitual residence“ – particularly if you have a testator traveling across Europe or even the whole world, having real estate, rented flats, house and so forth. 

Criteria for deciding this question can be:

– Length and regularity of the testator´s stay at a certain place.

– The conditions and circumstances in the context of this place.

– Centre of life from social and family aspects.

– Maybe supplementary: Nationality and place of his/her assets.

A minimum stay at a certain place is not required. 

As the regulation itself states, deciding this question might be quite „complex“. 

What is very interesting and important is that the regulation places social and family connections over professional or economic binds. 

You do not have to be a prophet to predict that a lot of legal cases will turn around the question of the „habitual residence“ of the testator, when two different legal systems get to very different results.
 
If you have an issue in German or International Inheritance Law, do not hesitate to contact us here

Dr. Donat Ebert
Rechtsanwalt
Lawyer in D and HU
office-ebert@email.de

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