Atlas

Luxembourg

I. LUXEMBURG FAMILY LAW.

The types of relationships/unions between persons has been recognised in Luxemburg´s Family Law:

     - formal (registered) and informal (de facto) unions

     - heterosexual and same-sex unions

 

The aim is to grant civil partners rights that are, to a large extent, similar to those enjoyed by married couples. Accordingly, civil partners are entitled to the same social benefits as married persons (e.g. the right to a survivor’s pension) and are afforded the same forms of tax relief as married persons, in particular with respect to stamp duty or registration fees, inheritance taxes and direct taxes.

Luxembourg does not have a specific legislation covering family matters. The unique source of law on family is the Luxembourg Civil Law, that dedicates the content of the first book to regulate everything related to persons, since article 5 from 515.  Civil married are regulated by Civil Code: Book III, Title V (Articles 1387-1581).

Litigation related to family issues is governed by the Civil Procedure Code which provides for the actions to be taken in case of divorce or child custody. International sources complete the national ones for the few matters involving extraneity questions. Case law is not rich, but sometimes very important, notably because the Constitutional. Court declared some provisions as being contrary to the Constitution:

     - The civil union was introduced by legislation passed on 9 July 2004, but it expanded benefits with Act of 3 August 2010

     - Same-sex couple: A bill for the legalisation of such marriages was enacted by the Chamber of Deputies on 18 June 2014, and that it came into force on 1 January 2015 in Luxemburgo. This legislation passed on June 2014 will allow same-sex couples to marry and adopt children, beginning on January 1, 2015.

     - Different sex couple: Since the law of 4 July 2014 reforming marriage which came into force in January 2015, homosexual couples are placed on the same footing as heterosexual couples (see article 2).

 

II. SUCESSION LAW.

Currently, with the entry into force of European Regulation 650/2012, the estates opened in Luxembourg are, since 17 August 2015, governed by a single law. Thus, the adoption of the Regulation put an end to the application of the secessionist system, in particular followed in Luxembourg, which periodically led to the application of different laws depending on the nature and location of the goods included in the Succession.

In the absence of a derogatory testamentary provision, the estate is henceforth subject in principle to the law of the country in which the deceased had his last habitual residence, and this without taking into account the location of the property making up the estate of the deceased.

A second important innovation of the regulation is the option given to the deceased to make a choice of law in favor of the law of the estate of the country of which he is a national at the time of the election, or at the time of his death. This choice must be expressed expressly or derived from the terms of a testamentary disposition. Therefore, a Luxembourg resident with English nationality or dual Luxembourg nationality could opt for the application of English law to his succession.

It should be noted that this same singularity does not exist at the tax level. It should therefore be made clear that, unlike direct taxation, Luxembourg has not concluded any Convention against double taxation in the field of inheritance rights. It is not uncommon for many States to exercise their taxing powers simultaneously with the same assets, which can lead to double taxation.

 

- THEY HAVE THE SAME RIGHTS TO INHERIT THE REGISTERED AND UNREGISTERED COUPLE: The Law of 9 July 2004 (Mém. P. 2019 et seq., Parl. Doc. no. 4946) on the legal effects of certain unmarried couples entered into force on 1 November 2004.

Persons who have made a declaration of unmarried partnership and have registered in accordance with the provisions of art. 3 thereof, in addition to registering the declaration as a pareh in a file referred to in Articles 1126 et seq. of the New Code of Civil Procedure. They may determine the financial consequences of the unmarried couple by means of a written agreement between them. This agreement may be concluded or modified at any time. Notification of the agreement or amendment is sent to the Public Prosecutor's Office within three working days (article 6 of the 2004 Act).

In the absence of an agreement, however, the declaration of unmarried partnership creates rights and obligations between taxpayers which, in many respects, are similar to those of spouses. The above provisions apply only to unmarried couples declared in accordance with article 3 of this Act (article 1 of the 2004 Act). There are no special provisions in relation to the ownership regime of unregistered non-marital unions.

The 2004 Act was recently supplemented by the Act of 3 August 2010 (Mém. P. 2190, Parl. Doc. no. 5904), article 4-1, which recognizes unions entered into abroad, allowing them to benefit from the same advantages as those granted to Luxembourg de facto couples.

 

- REGISTERED AND UNREGISTERED HOMOSEXUAL COUPLES ARE THE SAME FOR SUCCESSION: more than 10 per cent of marriages are between Luxembourgers and non-Luxembourgers and approximately 50 marriages are concluded each year between persons of the same sex since same-sex marriage was legalized in 2015.

Both the Recommendation of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe 924/81, and the European Parliament resolution A-0028/94, of 8 February, on the equality of the law of homosexuals and lesbians in the European Community, laid the foundations and, thus, have encouraged the member countries of the European Union to legislate on the coexistence of de facto couples. Within the European map, we can find countries such as Greece, Italy, Austria, Spain, Luxembourg and Ireland where there is still no legislation in this respect, or it is sectoral.