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 Where there’s a will

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PostSubject: Where there’s a will   Sat Jul 03, 2010 9:02 pm

[size=85:e4t5zip0]Sofia echo 03 July 2010

Where there’s a will

European Union expatriates, including those living in Bulgaria, have a new resource that explains – in 23 languages – the different laws of succession in EU states.

The website, [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.], was launched on June 28 as part of a 280 000 euro project by the Council of Notaries of the EU to which the European Commission (EC) contributed about 158 000 euro.

In a statement, the EC said that about nine million Europeans were living outside their home countries. There were about 450 000 international successions each year in the EU, representing more than 120 billion euro.

Owners of properties, such as houses and bank accounts, are confronted with different rules of jurisdiction and applicable law in the EU’s 27 member states.

European Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Viviane Reding said that for EU citizens living in another member state, it was not easy to work out which national law applies to successions. "
With this website, citizens will be better informed and able to make the right decisions,"
Reding said.

In October 2009, the EC proposed a regulation to simplify the settlement of international successions, providing for a single criterion for determining both the jurisdiction of the authorities and the law applicable to a cross-border succession: the deceased’s habitual place of residence.

People living abroad will, however, be able to opt to have the law of their country of nationality apply to their succession.

The languages offered on the website are 22 EU languages plus Croatian, and include Bulgarian and English.

The website explains that in Bulgaria, information about successions can be requested from a civil law notary, this being possible thanks to a new unit set up by the Chamber of Notaries, which keeps a Central Register of Wills.

In the event of intestate succession – meaning that the person who died did not make a will – various principles apply. If the deceased was unmarried and had no children, the parents or the surviving parent inherit. If the deceased was unmarried and had children, they share the estate equally. If the deceased leaves a spouse and has no children, parents, brothers or sisters or their descendants, the spouse inherits the whole estate;
but if there is a spouse and children, the spouse inherits in equal share with the children.

According to the website, the partners of an "
unregistered partnership"
, given that registered partnerships are not recognised under Bulgarian law, must arrange, in the form of a will, for their assets to devolve to the other partner, since they are not legal heirs.

In a cross-border situation, a will is in principle valid if it complies with the laws of the state where it was drawn up, with the laws of the country whose nationality the deceased held or with the laws of the country where he or she had habitual residence at the time the will was drawn up or at the time of death.

Further, for real estate, a will is also valid if it corresponds to the laws of the country where the real estate is located.

In principle, the heir is liable for the deceased’s debts, but heirs can limit their liability by accepting the estate without liability to debts beyond the assets accepted. The website explains the procedure in further detail.

Under Bulgarian law, the spouse, descendants and parents of the deceased are exempt from inheritance tax, according to the website.

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PostSubject: Re: Where there’s a will   Mon Jul 05, 2010 8:44 pm

does this mean, now, that an english will, will stand or do you have to make a bulgarian will for assets in bulgaria. have been trying to find a solution for some time now without success. and what if your not married. c
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