Portugal is in vogue. That can be seen for the number of foreigners, coming from abroad, and choosing the country as their new residency. A residency established by a way of investment, work or their personal income. The numbers don’t lie, and show an increase of 83% on the number of foreigners that chose Portugal as their new home in the past one year and a half.
Until 2015, according to the civil law, the succession of the de cujus would be regulated according to the personal law of the deceased/ nationality law. With the implementation of the EU Regulation concerning death succession, the applicable law has changed from the nationality law, to the country of the usual residency at the time of the dead.
Besides the fact that the EU Regulation points the usual residency as the determinant factor, the documents also points some exceptions which must be taken into account.
The multiplicity of options provided in the Regulation may therefore create legal uncertainty for the family of the deceased, as is the case of NHRs, by allowing the application of a law that was not preview. As a way of guarding against these situations, it is advisable to make a will, where it is clear not only the decision as to the law to be applied at the date of death, but also, as to the competent bodies to assess which court has jurisdiction, decide the succession issues, and eventually, the particular affectation of a given good to a particular person. This is applicable to European citizens or third states citizens.
In relation to third-country nationals, it is also relevant to have a will if they have assets in Portugal, since the existence of a Will, will facilitate the updating of their title, especially in relation to immovable or movable property subject to registration.
It should also be noted that in Portugal, inheritance matters are exempt from taxation in respect of donations or successions due to death among ascendants, descendants, spouses or civil unions.
In addition, the Will may also contain provisions of a non-patrimonial nature, such as confession, parenting or the appointment of guardian for them.