One of the European Union’s core ideals is the free movement of people and goods. For many years the different succession laws that exist in the European Union have been a barrier to this idea. To counteract this the Succession Regulation (EU) No 650/2012) (“Brussels IV”) was adopted on 4 July 2012, although implementation was delayed until 17 August 2015.
The Irish, Danish and UK Governments exercised their right not to opt in to the Brussels IV as there was the possibility there it would introduce a power to claw back lifetime gifts into non-forced heirship jurisdictions, such as the UK. This power already exists in forced heirship jurisdictions. It was felt that this would introduce uncertainty and complexity in the UK.