European Certificate of Succession

Heirs, beneficiaries of wills, executors of wills and persons taking care of the property of an estate can use the European Certificate of Succession to prove their position and authority in another EU Member State. The certificate makes the management of succession matters easier in situations where the deceased owned property in several Member States. If you know that the deceased did not own any property abroad, you do not need the European Certificate of Succession.

The European Certificate of Succession is usually issued by the authorities of the state in which the deceased resided at the time of death. The certificate is issued in the state in question and the law of the state of residence is applied to the inheritance unless the deceased has indicated in a will that the law of another state should be applied to their succession.

Regulations on the European Certificate of Succession are applied to the inheritance of persons who died on 17 August 2015 or later, and the certificate cannot be issued for persons who have died before that.

The use of the certificate is not statutory. It is often possible to manage the succession matters in the other state also by means of documents other than the European Certificate of Succession. Such documents include estate inventory deeds in which the shareholders have been certified by a local register office or the Digital and Population Data Services Agency.


  • Other documents depending on the purpose of the certificate are always required as appendices to the application.
  • The required documents include a report of the family relationships of the deceased, the estate inventory deed, the deed of distribution of the matrimonial property, the deed of distribution of the estate, the will and the served notifications, the marriage settlement agreement including its registration certificate, the document showing the appointment of an estate distributor and/or administrator, and an account of any property located abroad.

Do the following

  • Fill in the application
  • Submit the application and the appendices either by email or post to Digital and Population Data Services Agency.
  • The original European Certificate of Succession will be delivered to you by post or you can fetch it from the Helsinki service location Lintulahdenkuja 2, 00530 Helsinki.

Frequently asked questions and answers

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