European Succession Regulation (Regulation (EU) No.650/2012)

The European Succession Regulation (Regulation) came into force on 17 August 2015 for the estates of persons who die on or after that date.

The European Succession Regulation (Regulation) came into force on 17 August 2015 for the estates of persons who die on or after that date.

Agreed in 2012, the Regulation states that the jurisdiction and succession law applying to an individual's entire estate is determined by their last place of habitual residence, although it also gives expatriates an overriding right to elect for their estate to be governed by the law of their own country.

It is principally intended to resolve succession disputes caused by the large volume of migration between EU member states.

The Regulation was enforced with direct effect in the EU member states, with the exception of Denmark, the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Unfortunately, there has been some ambiguity in practice as to the application of the new Regulation and STEP has been following and informing discussions in European Parliament as they progress.

Practitioner resources




  • November 2019 - Diane Le Grand de Belleroche on determining the ‘habitual residence’ in two succession cases between France and the US. Read more
  • June 2019 - Alvaro Aznar Azcarate and Nicole Gallop Mildon explain how the European Succession Regulation affects Spain/UK cross-border estates. Read more
  • November 2018 - Ulf Bergquist and Richard Frimston preview the upcoming EU Matrimonial Property Regimes Regulation. Read more
  • August/September 2018 - Following the recent judgment in Oberle, Richard Frimston addresses issues of jurisdiction in the EU Succession Regulation. Read more
  • July 2018 - Jean-Marc Tirard examines an application of the EU Succession Regulation in the ongoing case of the recently deceased Johnny Hallyday. Read more
  • June 2018 - Richard Frimston discusses the 'feast or famine' effect of the EU Succession Regulation on matrimonial property regimes. Read more
  • April 2018 - Alessia Paoletto examines the significance of the first case to test the EU Succession Regulation and the doctrine of vindication. Read more
  • February 2018 - As Britain's post-EU future hangs in the balance, Richard Frimston wonders whether the British lion will have anything to roar about. Read more
  • November 2017 - Richard Frimston looks at issues arising out of the EU Succession Regulation. Read more
  • August/September 2017 - Breakfast means breakfast. But, asks Richard Frimston, will it be full English, continental or dog's? Read more
  • June 2017 - Addressing presumption of death issues may be a first step for the EU in tackling civil-status matters, writes Richard Frimston. Read more
  • April 2017 - Richard Frimston discusses legislation that simplifies the process for having public documents accepted, but which does not provide for recognition of their content. Read more
  • February 2017 - The rights of man and the EU's Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive are cooking up a political storm, writes Richard Frimston. Read more
  • December/January 2016 - Recent decisions of the French Constitutional Court and the UK Supreme Court put fundamental questions of human rights in the spotlight, writes Richard Frimston. Read more
  • October 2016 - Richard Frimston hails the arrival of Rome IVa and IVb, which aim to simplify the recognition and enforcement of decisions in matters of matrimonial property regimes and registered partnerships. Read more
  • August/September 2016 - The UK's decision to quit the EU leaves Richard Frimston with several questions. Could the EEA provide a solution? And what will happen once article 50 is invoked? Read more
  • July 2016 - Richard Frimston TEP considers the interplay between Brussels II bis, Hague 34 and English and Welsh legislation on the property of minor children. Read more 
  • June 2016 - The UK should not pretend the EU Succession Regulation doesn't exist, says Richard Frimston. Read more
  • May 2016 - Richard Frimston investigates who is behind the delays to implementation of Rome IV. Read more
  • April 2016 - Richard Frimston explains the two approaches underpinning the EU legislation. Read more
  • March 2016 – Richard Frimston considers how practitioners are faring with the EU Succession Regulation, half a year after it took effect. Read more
  • Feb 2016 – Sabine Herzog, Jacopo Crivellaro and Basil Kirby assess the most important issues and questions raised by the EU Succession Regulation from the perspective of a non-member state, such as Switzerland. Read more
  • July 2015 – Where there is a will, there is a choice. How valid is that? Asks Richard Frimston. Read more
  • June 2015 – Sangna Chauhan discusses choices of applicable law under the EU Succession Regulation. Read more
  • June 2015 –Maria Grazia Antoci and Daniele Muritano discuss the impact of the EU Succession Regulation on Italian trust and estate planning. Read more

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