Deceased EU national, UK movable assets

Hi all,

I have a case with a deceased client where I am pretty certain of the answer (not least because I can see similar or identical cases asked here before) but struggling to find the actual UK legal sources to back it up, in either case law or legislation or international agreement (and the previous cases I’ve seen asked here seem to not have those sources).

If a EU deceased national had movable assets in the UK, then my understanding is that those assets would be legally treated under the deceased’s place of domicile, rather than the UK. The Brussels Succession Regulation would not apply given the assets being in the UK and the UK not being party to the regulation, thereby not allowing a choice of law for the deceased or their beneficiaries.

I would appreciate anyone who can a) confirm that is correct and b) have any kind of UK source of law which support that conclusion.

Many thank,


I’d look to Dicey & Morris for the detail. I fear it is a little more complicated as English law will first look to the private international law of the EU country. If deceased D was domiciled in Spain but resident in France, the result may be that Spanish PIL (incorporating the Succession Regulation) would apply French domestic law and so the English courts would apply French law.

(Some guesswork there so DEFINITELY worth checking I have not made that up!)

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UK Private International Law is that the succession to movables is governed by the law of the deceased’s domicile. There is no statutory footing for this, but Dicey and Morris confirms the position, as does case law (Pipon v Pipon 1744, Re Haji-Ioannou 2009).

Andrew is right to note that this means the law of that jurisdiction including its private international law, ie it includes any renvoi.

You are correct that any choice of law, whether under the EU Succession Regulation or not, is of no effect in England.