The project “Further developments in the area of interconnection of registers of wills“ was led by the Estonian Ministry of Justice and co-funded by the European Commission (JUST/2014/JACC/AG/E-JU/6966) during the period from 1 October 2015 until 30 September 2016.
The possibilities for making cross-border succession proceedings more efficient by electronic means were analysed during the project. Electronic registration of the wills of the citizens of the European Union and data exchange related to wills between the Member States were the main topics focused on, as it is very important to ensure that the last wishes of the testator are respected and fulfilled regardless to state borders.
Several legal and technical obstacles which do not enable access to information to the persons with a legitimate interest from another Member State were identified during the studies carried out within the project. The possibilities for eliminating obstacles were discussed in the European Union Council´s expert group together with the Member States and the representatives of the legal practitioners.
As an outcome, a recommendations for improving political and technical cooperation and access to information were prepared. According to the recommendations, an interactive tool providing a direct access to the right contact point providing necessary information along the way could be created in the e-Justice Portal.
In addition, dynamic forms of the European Certificate of Succession and its application were created for the portal which simplify the process of completing the form and in the future also the process of transmitting the form.
While dynamic forms will be made available in the portal already in the near future, the implementation of technical developments to enable more efficient and safer access to the information relating to wills shall be carried out in the course of follow-up projects during the years to come.
The project was carried out in cooperation with the European Network of Registers of Wills Association, the Council of the Notariats of the European Union, the Estonian Chamber of Notaries, Estonian Centre of Registers and Information Systems, and the Member States of the European Union. While Lithuania, Hungary, Spain, Bulgaria, Greece and Austria contributed directly to the project, the representatives of 20 Member States took part in the work of the European Union Council´s e-Justice expert group.