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News CNUE, 27 March 2023

Settlement of international successions: the Notaries of Europe’s recommendations

On Thursday 23 March, the Council of the Notariats of the European Union (CNUE) published the results of the “MAPE Succession” project, the aim of which was to evaluate the application of Regulation (EU) No 650/2012 on international successions by notaries. During this two-year project, more than 2,100 notaries contributed and shared their experiences on a wide range of topics covered by the Regulation: rules of jurisdiction, choice of applicable law, acceptance of authentic instruments, European Certificate of Succession, etc. All these data were analysed and discussed by a team of academics and notaries, who presented their recommendations and an executive report at a conference held on the same day in Brussels and via streaming.

The President of the CNUE, Dr. Peter Stelmaszczyk, opened the conference and stressed the unprecedented nature of the “MAPE Succession” project: “ The MAPE project is a pioneering project that can serve as a basis in the future for the assessment of other European legislative instruments. These recommendations will be sent to the European institutions with the aim of further improving practice on the ground for the benefit of EU citizens”. He also thanked the academic team made up of Patrick Wautelet, Professor at the University of Liège, Pierre Callé, Professor at the University of Paris-Saclay and Brigitta Lurger of the University of Graz, and the partners of this project co-funded by the European Union: the European Network of Registers of Wills Association (ENRWA), represented by its president Octavian Rogojanu, as well as the German, Hungarian, Lithuanian and Maltese notariats.

Marianne Sevindik, Chair of the CNUE Working Group on Succession Law and coordinator of the MAPE Succession project, also intervened: “ The study confirms that the Succession Regulation was very well received by notaries, although it introduced important changes in their practice. Notaries see it as a useful tool for anticipating and settling cross-border successions. As with any EU legislative instrument, there is still room for improvement, and the study’s recommendations already suggest some useful changes. The study also proposed some suggestions for improving the application of the Regulation even without amending it. In any event, irrespective of the Commission’s conclusion on the possible need for a revision of the Succession Regulation in the coming years, the CNUE wishes to participate in future discussions and work”.

Andreas Stein, Head of Unit for Civil Justice of the European Commission, congratulated the CNUE on the work done and the amount of notaries who provided feedback, which are a particularly valuable database. He said that the results of the study would be analysed with interest in view of the evaluation to be carried out by the Commission for a possible revision of the Regulation. The Honorary President of the CNUE, Paolo Pasqualis, underlined the fundamental importance of offering training on the Regulation to European notaries with a view to better application of its mechanisms.

Photos of the conference

Videos of the conference

Monitoring and evaluation of the application of Regulation (EU) No 650/2012 on successions

The Succession Regulation (EU No 650/2012) has been in force in 25 Member States of the European Union since 17 August 2015. Article 82 of the Regulation requires the European Commission to present, by 18 August 2025, a report on the application of the Regulation, accompanied, where appropriate, by proposals for amendments.

The experience of notaries in cross-border successions in general and with the Regulation in particular provides valuable insights into the actual application of the Regulation. Indeed, notaries use the Regulation in all Member States to help clients preparing their future succession. The Regulation is an important reference for those who wish to make a will or transfer part of their assets to their children while preserving the situation of a spouse. Notaries also use the Regulation when dealing with the estate of a deceased person and divide the deceased’s assets among the various heirs and legatees.

The aim of the MAPE Succession project was to take stock of the experience gained by notaries in 22 Member States over the past 7 years. This assessment also aimed at identifying possible solutions or proposals to improve the legal framework by making recommendations. In addition to contributing to the future assessment of the Succession Regulation, the MAPE project also aimed at creating a methodology that could be reused for the assessment of other EU instruments.

Dr Peter Stelmaszczyk and Andreas Stein, Head of Unit "Civil Justice", European Commission

Speakers - 1st panel

Prof. Patrick Wautelet, University of Liège

Speakers - 2nd panel

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