15. 11. 2016

Who is to inherit your investments abroad and under which procedure?

The Slovene Inheritance (Amendment) Act, which harmonizes the rules in case of cross-border successions in the EU, has entered into force.

On 22 October, the Slovene Inheritance (Amendment) Act (ZD-C) came into force, strengthening the implementation of the European Regulation on Succession. As already reported, the Regulation on Succession strives to harmonize the rules in case of cross-border successions in the EU; with approximately 10 percent of all successions including a cross-border element (e.g. a decedent owns property in several member states).

A new third chapter of the Inheritance Act regulates:

  • the jurisdiction of Slovene courts in case of cross-border cases under the Regulation on Succession;
  • authorities competent for issuing the European Certificate of Succession and its procedure;
  • the adaptation of rights in immovable or movable property from another EU member state to Slovenian law;
  • recognition, enforceability and enforcement of decisions in succession proceedings.

Under the ZD-C, the probate court, which was competent for a given probate proceeding, is eligible to issue the European Certificate of Succession (e.g. an official document that can be used as a proof of status and/or rights of heirs and legatees in all EU member states) as well as to decide on requests to correct, amend, revoke or suspend temporarily its effects. A European Certificate of Succession issued in another EU member state is, pursuant to the new Article 227.e ZD-C, considered as a valid probate decision. Consequently, this foreign certificate acts as a valid document on the basis of which courts or other authorities in Slovenia can record a certain inheritance right in the appropriate register.

Other changes to the Inheritance Act are a consequence of the adaptation of the old act or arise from the rulings of the Slovene Constitutional Court, such as:

  • the provision limiting the inheritance of property owned by a person who has been enjoying social support, is amended (Article 128 ZD-C);
  • decedent’s creditors are entitled to request the transfer of inheritance without heirs into the bankruptcy estate as well as to file a bankruptcy petition in respect of such inheritance (new Articles 142.a and 142.b ZD-C);
  • the possibility to conclude an agreement on the denunciation of any future inheritance is extended also to spouses, unmarried partners and partners from registered and unregistered same-sex partnerships (Article 137 ZD-C).


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