EU Succession Regulation

I have been contacted by a lawyer in Poland on behalf of a client, habitually resident in Poland, who holds both Polish and British citizenship and who wishes to make a will and to choose the Law of England and Wales to govern his succession under Article 22 the EU Succession Regulations. He wishes to “disinherit” his son and grandson and is not able to do this effectively under Polish law.

I understand that the client is wealthy being the CEO of a large well known Polish company. I am advised that if the son is not provided for he will almost certainly contest the provisions of the Will strenuously, he is currently trying to take over his father’s company and is causing damage to the company’s reputation.

I have advised that I would like to obtain Counsel’s advice and I would be grateful if anybody could recommend Counsel who may be able to help.

Charis Muir
Stilwell & Singleton

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Under the EUSR, Poland is required to abide by a choice of law. E&W law allows for a child not to be provided for in a Will. In England this is tempered by the 1975 Act. But any claim under that is limited to UK dom deceased individuals. So in theory a non-UK dom person with British nationality may have complete testamentary freedom, and be able to override any fixed succession rights.

The letter of the law is clear on this. But is it an unintended consequence? It will be interesting one day to see the view the EUCJ takes. In any case it will be necessary to liaise closely with Polish counsel in your case.

Christopher Salomons

Russell-Cooke LLP