Issuance and application for the European Certificate of Succession

Issuing of the European Certificate of Succession

The issuing of the European Certificate of Succession may be applied for at the competent authorities by anyone who is considered as an heir or legatee in a specific succession and by those who are assigned as executors or administrators of a succession.

The national courts of each state are competent for the issuing, but also whichever other authority considered competent to handle successions, according to national law, may be an issuer. In Spain, the judges and the notaries are competent to issue the European Certificate of Succession.

The original Certificate will stay with the competent authority who has issued it. This authority will then hand out one or various authentic copies to the concerned. These copies are valid for 6 months. When this time limit has passed one may apply for a prolongation of the validity, or apply for a new authentic copy in order to keep using the Certificate.

Steps for the application of the European Certificate of Succession

  • Upon request, the notary is competent to declare the succession or any of its elements and the issuing of the certificate according to article 63 in the Regulation n.º 650/2012 where the form should be uses that is referred to in the article 67 in the same Regulation. The application for the issuing of the Certificate of Succession may be presented by using the form in article 65.2 in the Regulation.
  • Once the European Certificate of Succession has been issued, a notification will be added to the original document of the succession. After this, the authentic copy will be handed out to the applicant. The Certificate is considered as a public document according to article 17 in the Ley del Notariado.

Alternatives to the European Certificate of Succession

The Authority of each country in the EU who executes a succession may facilitate a national document that confirms someone as an heir, will executor or administrator of the estate.

The incentive of the European Certificate of Succession is that is has the same effects in the entire EU independently of where it was issued. A national document may have different results in other states that may delay the procedure of recognizing ones right in other member states.

On the other hand, the European Certificate of Succession is recognized in all EU member states without requiring any special procedure.

Salma Sehk Zinth & Alejandro Espada Gerlach

This post does not constitute legal advice. If you need legal advice, please contact us.

Espada Gerlach Abogados Abogados

Espada Gerlach Abogados Abogados


Espada Gerlach Abogados is a multidisciplinary spanish law firm with offices in Barcelona and Girona, Spain.

Leave a comment