Burnetts logo

Who benefits from your holiday home?

Who benefits from your holiday home?

Wills and Trust solicitor Tracy Stainton discusses the recent changes to inheritance regulations in the EU.

For those of you with holiday homes in the EU, new inheritance regulations came into effect in August which allow Britons freely to pass on assets in other EU states.

Forced heirship applies in most EU states, with some variations in exactly who benefits and by how much.  UK and Ireland are the exceptions as they permit “freedom of succession” allowing people to leave their estates to whomever they choose (although this is open to challenge for those with dependents).

Under the new EU succession regulations, the laws of the deceased’s home country will apply if there is a Will.  However, if there is no Will, the local law will continue to dictate who inherits. 

So if you have a house in countries including France, Greece, Portugal, Spain and Italy and do not leave a Will, local laws will automatically apply.  In Spain this means that, without a Will,  two-thirds of the estate must go to the children and a third to the spouse. In France and Greece, typically 25% of the property will be inherited by the spouse and the rest by the children, if there is no Will in place.

Our advice to those with a holiday home in an EU country is to make a Will.  If you have already made a Will, it will be worth checking that it now covers you correctly.

As part of our Wills service, we offer a full review of your circumstances, looking at your current Will if you have one, exploring the best options for you, looking at Inheritance Tax planning and protection of your assets for family members. 

We offer home appointments, evening appointments and weekends for those who find it difficult to get into the office during normal working hours. For an appointment please contact Tracy Stainton on 01900 510366 or email ts@burnetts.co.uk

About the author

Tracy Stainton profile photo

Tracy Stainton

Senior Associate Solicitor Tracy is Head of Burnetts' Cockermouth office.

Published: Thursday 10th September 2015
Categorised: Wills, Probate & Trusts

All Factsheets