Exclusion of the Czech Inheritance Law

The opportunity to choose the jurisdiction for inheritance matters is slowly becoming known to the public. We have recently dealt with such a request from one of our clients.

According to Section 77 of Act no. 91/2012 Coll. on Private International law, which entered into force in 2014, a testator may choose a jurisdiction for their hereditary matters if the testator has a certain relationship with the country whose jurisdiction they wish to choose.

The law considers citizenship to be such a relationship. Thus, if a person living in the Czech Republic is a citizen of another country, they may choose to apply the inheritance law of the country of which they are a citizen. The law explicitly extends this to real estate, which is otherwise governed by the laws of the country in whose territory the intangible assets are located.

When writing a will or a contract of inheritance with the choice of the law of a foreign country, the testator’s will must be based on the current situation at the time of writing the will. It is not possible to make a will under the law of another country until the testator is a citizen of that country, even if they later become one. Such a choice of law would be found invalid unless, at the time the will was made, the testator’s habitual residence was in the territory of the country whose law was chosen.

In practice, this is done by entering a short sentence about the choice of law for the purposes of inheritance into the last will or the inheritance contract.

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