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The consequences of England’s decision not to opt into the proposed EU Regulation on succession and wills

Davidsson, Caroline LU (2011) JURM01 20102
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
England har i dagsläget beslutat att ej anta den förslagna EU- förordningen om behörighet, tillämplig lag, erkännande och verkställighet av domar och officiella handlingar i samband med arv och om inrättandet av ett europeiskt arvsintyg. England deltar dock i de pågående förhandlingarna mellan medlemsstaterna rörande förordningen och en ratificering är fortfarande möjlig. Enligt England omfattar huvudfrågorna i förordningen anknytningskriteriet habitual residence och effekten av utländska clawback regimer. Anknytningskriteriet i förordningen skiljer sig avsevärt från det tillämpade i England och om England ej antar förordningen kommer dessa regler att existera sida vid sida.

De engelska lagvalsreglerna bygger på ett system där en... (More)
England har i dagsläget beslutat att ej anta den förslagna EU- förordningen om behörighet, tillämplig lag, erkännande och verkställighet av domar och officiella handlingar i samband med arv och om inrättandet av ett europeiskt arvsintyg. England deltar dock i de pågående förhandlingarna mellan medlemsstaterna rörande förordningen och en ratificering är fortfarande möjlig. Enligt England omfattar huvudfrågorna i förordningen anknytningskriteriet habitual residence och effekten av utländska clawback regimer. Anknytningskriteriet i förordningen skiljer sig avsevärt från det tillämpade i England och om England ej antar förordningen kommer dessa regler att existera sida vid sida.

De engelska lagvalsreglerna bygger på ett system där en uppdelning görs mellan lös egendom som regleras av Englands svar på hemvistlandets lag, domicile, och fast egendom som regleras av lagen i det land där egendomen befinner sig. Detta skiljer sig från förordningen som tillämpar ett enhetligt system, där endast en lag tillämpas på egendomen i dess helhet. Det engelska systemet har kritiserats under en längre tid för att vara orättvist och orimligt då olika lagar tillämpas på egendom som är belägen i olika medlemsstater men som tillhör samma person. Ett enhetligt system, likt det valda i förordningen, är därför att föredra men så länge England ej antar förordningen kvartstår systemet med en uppdelning mellan lös och fast egendom.

Ett annat problem rör clawback som avser återföring av gåvor till den avlidnes dödsbo som den avlidne givet under sin livstid, för distribution till den avlidnes arvingar. Enligt Englands arvsrätt räknas ej egendom som givits bort in i den avlidnes dödsbo och de engelska domstolarna beaktar ej spörsmål rörande clawback. Detta återspeglar den engelska grundläggande principen om testamentsfrihet, en princip som England ännu ej är beredd att överge.

Även om England inte antar förordningen kommer engelska medborgare påverkas av den om de omfattas av begreppet habitual residence, då förordningsstaterna måste tillämpa förordningen på alla bosatta inom dess territorium. Dessutom påverkas medborgare med hemvist i en förordningsstat och som har tillgångar i England på ett negativt sätt då de blir underkastade två rättssystem.

På grund av förordningens universella karaktär åtföljs ett utanförskap för England av rättsosäkerhet, mindre förutsägbarhet samt högre juridiska rådgivningskostnader för de personer involverade i gränsöverskridande arvsfrågor. Ett utanförskap skulle därför sannolikt påverka den gränsöverskridande arvsrätten negativt både för engelska medborgare och medborgare i förordningsstater. (Less)
Abstract
To date England has decided not to opt into the proposed EU Regulation on jurisdiction, applicable law, recognition and enforcement of decisions and authentic instruments in matters of succession and the creation of a European Certificate. However, with an eventual opt in England fully engages with the ongoing negotiations on the proposed Regulation between the Member States. From the English viewpoint, the core issues of the Regulation comprise the connecting factor of habitual residence and the impact of foreign clawback regimes. The English conflict of law rules differ considerably from the Regulation and if England does not adopt the Regulation, these rules will coexist.

The English conflict of law rules are based on a scission... (More)
To date England has decided not to opt into the proposed EU Regulation on jurisdiction, applicable law, recognition and enforcement of decisions and authentic instruments in matters of succession and the creation of a European Certificate. However, with an eventual opt in England fully engages with the ongoing negotiations on the proposed Regulation between the Member States. From the English viewpoint, the core issues of the Regulation comprise the connecting factor of habitual residence and the impact of foreign clawback regimes. The English conflict of law rules differ considerably from the Regulation and if England does not adopt the Regulation, these rules will coexist.

The English conflict of law rules are based on a scission system where movable property is governed by the law of domicile and the immovable property by the State where it is located. This can be compared to the Regulation which is based on a unitary system where a single law is applicable to the succession as a whole. The scission approach has been under a great deal of criticism for causing distribution of property that is unfair and unreasonable as different laws will be applied to property located in different States, but belonging to the same person. A unitary system is therefore to be favoured. However, as long as an English opt in is not present the scission system survives.

Another discrepancy is clawback that intends to bring back gifts made by the deceased before death to be distributed to the heirs. In England, the deceased’s estate does not include property that has been disposed of by gifts and the courts will not consider a claim of clawback even if it is included in the law they are applying. This reflects the fundamental principle of testamentary freedom in English law, a principle that England is not willing to abandon.

Furthermore, the Regulation uses habitual residence as the main connecting factor, while in England, conflict of law rules are based on domicile. Even if England does not adopt the Regulation, English citizens will still be affected by the Regulation as those English citizens resident in a Member State would be subject to the concept of habitual residence, as the courts must apply the Regulation to everyone who is resident in their territory.

Due to the universal character of the Regulation a non opt in by England would lead to legal uncertainty, less predictability and higher costs for legal advice for citizens planning cross-border successions with a connection to England and other Member States as well as for those entitled to a share of the deceased’s estate. A non opt in by England would therefore be likely to negatively affect cross-border successions involving English citizens as well as cross-border successions involving citizens of other Member States. (Less)
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author
Davidsson, Caroline LU
supervisor
organization
course
JURM01 20102
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
private international law, succession and wills, succession, Habitual residence, clawback, European certificate of succession
language
English
id
1979828
date added to LUP
2011-06-22 16:03:30
date last changed
2011-06-22 16:03:30
@misc{1979828,
  abstract     = {To date England has decided not to opt into the proposed EU Regulation on jurisdiction, applicable law, recognition and enforcement of decisions and authentic instruments in matters of succession and the creation of a European Certificate. However, with an eventual opt in England fully engages with the ongoing negotiations on the proposed Regulation between the Member States. From the English viewpoint, the core issues of the Regulation comprise the connecting factor of habitual residence and the impact of foreign clawback regimes. The English conflict of law rules differ considerably from the Regulation and if England does not adopt the Regulation, these rules will coexist.

The English conflict of law rules are based on a scission system where movable property is governed by the law of domicile and the immovable property by the State where it is located. This can be compared to the Regulation which is based on a unitary system where a single law is applicable to the succession as a whole. The scission approach has been under a great deal of criticism for causing distribution of property that is unfair and unreasonable as different laws will be applied to property located in different States, but belonging to the same person. A unitary system is therefore to be favoured. However, as long as an English opt in is not present the scission system survives.

Another discrepancy is clawback that intends to bring back gifts made by the deceased before death to be distributed to the heirs. In England, the deceased’s estate does not include property that has been disposed of by gifts and the courts will not consider a claim of clawback even if it is included in the law they are applying. This reflects the fundamental principle of testamentary freedom in English law, a principle that England is not willing to abandon.

Furthermore, the Regulation uses habitual residence as the main connecting factor, while in England, conflict of law rules are based on domicile. Even if England does not adopt the Regulation, English citizens will still be affected by the Regulation as those English citizens resident in a Member State would be subject to the concept of habitual residence, as the courts must apply the Regulation to everyone who is resident in their territory.

Due to the universal character of the Regulation a non opt in by England would lead to legal uncertainty, less predictability and higher costs for legal advice for citizens planning cross-border successions with a connection to England and other Member States as well as for those entitled to a share of the deceased’s estate. A non opt in by England would therefore be likely to negatively affect cross-border successions involving English citizens as well as cross-border successions involving citizens of other Member States.},
  author       = {Davidsson, Caroline},
  keyword      = {private international law,succession and wills,succession,Habitual residence,clawback,European certificate of succession},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {The consequences of England’s decision not to opt into the proposed EU Regulation on succession and wills},
  year         = {2011},
}