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International inheritance: legal and tax considerations for European citizens

International inheritance is a complex issue that requires a meticulous and expert approach to ensure that the wishes of the deceased are carried out properly and in accordance with the law. In the particular case of European citizens who reside in another country and die without leaving a will, a number of legal and tax considerations arise that are crucial to address in order to avoid future complications.

When a European citizen resides in a country other than his or her country of nationality and dies without having left a valid will, it is essential to determine which law will be applicable to his or her succession. In many cases, this will depend on the habitual residence of the deceased and whether there is an international treaty or agreement between the countries involved governing the succession.

One of the most relevant aspects to consider is the existence of a Foreigner Identification Number (NIE) in the country of residence. This document can have significant implications in the succession process, as it can determine the competent jurisdiction and the applicable legal procedures. It is important to note that even if the deceased has an NIE in the country of residence, his or her nationality and the laws of his or her country of origin may also have an impact on the succession.

In the event of death without a valid will, the applicable law will determine how the deceased’s property and assets will be distributed among his or her legal heirs. This can vary considerably from country to country, which underlines the importance of seeking specialist legal advice to ensure that the wishes of the deceased are carried out and the rights of the heirs are protected.

International inheritance from a tax perspective

From a tax perspective, international inheritances may be subject to different tax regimes depending on the country in which the assets of the deceased and the heirs are located. It is essential to understand the tax implications of inheritance to avoid unpleasant surprises and to optimize estate planning.

In short, an international inheritance poses legal and tax challenges that require an expert and specialized approach. Upon the death of a European citizen who resided in another country and did not leave a will, it is crucial to seek legal advice to determine the applicable law, protect the rights of the heirs and optimize tax planning.

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