I founded Attorney at law Familja in August 2014. Familja is the first law firm in Finland that focuses primarily on international private persons – those who marry, reside and have connections in different countries around the world. I give advice on Finnish law in these situations, but as an international law counsel I will also provide advice on what laws will or can be applied, who has jurisdiction and evaluate the practical impact of the laws. When needed I will co-operate with local counsels when for example setting up “mirror agreements” whereby the said agreement is drafted in accordance with the laws of more than one jurisdiction. Mirror agreements are a part of cross-border estate planning. By planning and drafting the right set of documents you can ensure that a particular law will apply on your estate or that your prenuptial agreement is in fact enforceable. The need for planning is rapidly growing due to the free movement of persons and trends such as spending the winter season in a warmer climate.
The free movement of persons is a fundamental right guaranteed to European Union (EU) citizens by the Treaties. But the movement has been anything but smooth in this area of law and for example an heir to an estate with connections to more than one EU state is caught up in endless bureaucracy and the risk of double taxation. Around 10 % (120 billion €) of the estates in the EU has connections to more than one state. A major step to facilitate cross border successions was the adoption on 4 July 2012 of new European Union rules (EU) No 650/2012, which will make it easier for European citizens to handle the legal side of an international will or succession. Most of these new rules are applicable to successions as of 17 August 2015. Personally I can’t wait until I get to apply these rules and see what effects the regulation will have in real life.
Familja – when family matters