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New cross-border inheritance provisions of the Civil Procedure Code

02/2016

In the middle of February 2016, the Bulgarian Parliament adopted amendments to the Bulgarian Civil Procedure Code, which transpose Regulation (EU) No 650/12 of 4 July 2012 (the "Regulation"). The amendments relate to the competency, applicable law, recognition and enforcement of decisions, adoption of and enforcement of authentic acts in the field of inheritance.

The new chapter establishes the competent court and procedure for recognition and enforcement of foreign court decisions, as well as the rules for appealing the respective Bulgarian court acts. The procedure starts with an application to the District court of the defendant's domicile, its seat or place of enforcement.

The amendment regulates also the procedure for issuance of a European Certificate of Succession. The certificate is not mandatory and does not replace the applicable internal legislation on the matter, but shall be valid in all Member States. The competent court for issuance of such certificate is the Regional Court. In accordance with the Regulation, an appellate control on acts of the court of first instance is provided.

The Regulation shall apply to the succession of persons who die on or after 17 August 2015. Choice of applicable law and disposal of property upon death prior to that date are valid under special conditions laid down in the Regulation.

The main goal of the amendments is fast, easy and effective regulation of inheritance, especially with cross-border elements within the European Union.

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Desislava Anastasova
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Sofia