Advocate General Szpunar’s opinion on C-651/21 – М. Ya. M. (Renonciation à la succession d’un cohéritier) was published last Thursday. The request, from the Sofiyski rayonen sad (Bulgaria) relates to Article 13 of Regulation 650/2012 on matters of succession.
In the case at hand, M. T. G., a Bulgarian national who died in Greece, designated as heirs her daughter, her husband – the Greek national H. H. –, and her grandson – the applicant M. Ya. M. The applicant requests that the court register the waiver of the succession by H. H. A record of the civil case of the Magistrate’s Court, Athens, Hellenic Republic, was submitted in the proceedings, stating that H.H. appeared before that court on 28 June 2019 and declared his waiver of the succession. According to the request, H.H. stated that the deceased last resided in the town of H., region of Attica, Greece.
The referring court considers there is a ‘conflict of jurisdictions’ (sic), since, under the general rules of the regulation, jurisdiction is determined by the habitual residence of the deceased and not by that of the heirs. Subject to certain conditions, the latter courts have jurisdiction to receive waivers and acceptances; however, (under the regulation) they are under no procedural obligation to notify the court having jurisdiction in principle of such waivers or acceptances. In light of it, the referring court is uncertain as to the nature of the proceedings before it. In addition, it submits that the applicant in the proceedings at hand does not wish to have his own waiver of the succession of the deceased registered, but that of one of the other heirs, and that Bulgarian law does not provide for such a procedure. The principle of personal protection of rights before a court does not permit the registration of declarations of other persons eihter.
The national court has referred the following questions to the Court of Justice of the European Union:
(1) Is Article 13 of Regulation (EU) No 650/2012 […], read in conjunction with the principle of the protection of legal certainty, to be interpreted as precluding, after an heir has already had registered with a court of the State in which he or she is habitually resident his or her acceptance or waiver of the succession of a deceased person who was habitually resident in another State of the European Union at the time of his or her death, a request to have that waiver or acceptance subsequently registered in the latter State?
(2) If the answer to the first question is that such registration is permissible, is Article 13 of Regulation (EU) No 650/2012 […], read in conjunction with the principles of the protection of legal certainty and the effective implementation of EU law, and the obligation of cooperation between States under Article 4(3) [TEU], to be interpreted as permitting a request for the registration of a waiver of the succession of a deceased person effected by an heir in the State in which he or she is habitually resident by another heir residing in the State in which the deceased was habitually resident at the time of his or her death, irrespective of the fact that the procedural law of the latter State does not provide for the possibility to have a waiver of a succession registered on behalf of another person?
The case has been assigned to a chamber of three judges (M. Ilešič, reporting, together with I. Jarukaitis and Z. Csehi).