European Certificate of Succession!

European Certificate of Succession

Last year, a man from my family died and I had to get a certificate of heirs. It was a comfort for me that the procedure was short and did not bother me unnecessarily at this difficult moment for me. The situation, however, made me think. What would be the procedure if the deceased lived abroad and acquired property there? I understand that in this situation, it is good to issue a European Certificate of Legacy. To whom should I turn to receive it and is the procedure complex?
What is the European Certificate of Legacy?
The European Certificate of Succession is a document that may be requested by heirs who have to prove their inheritance in another EU Member State. This is a situation where the deceased person lived abroad and acquired real estate there. If my parent, for example, lived in Germany and bought an apartment or found a bank account, then after his death I can issue this document in order to get my share of the dwelling or the bank account easier.
Important! The European Certificate of Succession does not replace the successor certificate, which is mandatory in Bulgaria. The European document is further evidence of my successor status as it exists and works in parallel with national official documents.
Who can ask for it to be issued?
Besides I as an heir, all covenants with direct inheritance rights, the executors of the will, and the property managers (if any) may request the issue of the document.
Who can give it to me?
If I have been in such a situation, I have to apply for a European Certificate of Succession before the court responsible.
Important! The State responsible and the issuing court are determined according to the last habitual residence of the deceased person, which does not depend on his nationality.
If, for example, my deceased parent had his last habitual residence in Bulgaria, even in his lifetime, he would have stayed in Germany, the Bulgarian laws would be enforced. This means that the determination of the heirs, their shares and their freedom of disposal will be determined according to the Bulgarian laws. (In the different EU countries the legislation is different.) In this example, not only the legacy will be fulfilled according to the Bulgarian laws, but the responsible court will be the Bulgarian. To issue the document I will have to address the Bulgarian District Court at the last permanent address of the deceased. If it is missing, then at its last address in the country. If the deceased for some reason has no address in Bulgaria - I file the application with the Sofia District Court.
However, if my relative has the last habitual residence in Germany, the European certificate can only be issued by a German court and the law to be applied is German. It does not matter whether the deceased is a Bulgarian citizen. The German authority will be competent not only for matters relating to the immovable property of the deceased in Germany but also for those in Bulgaria.
How do you determine your residence?
The criteria on the basis of which the deceased's last habitual residence is determined are the duration and frequency of his - her residence in the state, his -her family status, employment, tax obligations, and others. For example, if the deceased had lived in Germany for 3 months of the year and spent the rest of his life in Bulgaria, his usual residence is in Bulgaria, and the responsible court will be the Bulgarian.
By way of exception, it is possible to recognize that the deceased is more closely connected with a state other than the State of last usual location. For example, if my deceased parent spent his last years in a nursing home in Romania, because he was cheaper there, but for the rest of his life he was in Bulgaria. In this case, Bulgaria may be recognized as the state whose law will be followed and a Bulgarian court will order the inheritance.
Important! I also have the opportunity, through my will, to choose the right of the state of which I am a citizen to apply to my inheritance. Then, even at the time of my death, I have a habitual residence in Germany, then the Bulgarian court will order my cross-border heritage. In this case, my heirs can conclude a court choice agreement in Bulgaria, with all interested parties agreeing.
What is the procedure for issuing the document?
The application I will submit to the court must contain:
data of the deceased (name, PIN, nationality, date and place of birth, address at the time of death, death certificate, will);
my relevant personal data, along with a document showing my relationship with the deceased;
data of the deceased spouse - wife;
the data of the other affected persons and heirs;
other need information such as marriage


European Certificate of Succession! European Certificate of Succession!