Settling an inheritance is not always simple. Inheritance law is a specialist area of law with a multitude of its own special rules. In addition, the complexity of family relationships has increased considerably in recent years, due to the increasing number of stepparents, stepchildren or half-brothers and sisters. This also ensures that there are numerous questions about the legal position of (non-) heirs in the settlement of the estate.
With the introduction of the new inheritance law in 2003, the legal inheritance is more in line with the situation that was most frequently chosen when drafting a will: the parental division of assets, also known as the “surviving will”. If no will is made, the law has been applicable to spouses with children since 2003. This means that the spouse legally receives the property from the estate. The children receive a claim for money from the spouse (which can only be claimed after certain conditions have entered into force). The amount of the monetary claim corresponds to the value of the inheritance. If someone dies without leaving behind a husband, the children first inherit, then the parents and brothers and sisters, and finally the grandparents and great-grandparents.
Last will & testament
By making a will, it is possible to deviate from the legal inheritance. For example, husbands and children can be disinherited by will. The disinherited spouse inherits nothing, the disinherited children by right acquire a right to a “legitimate portion.” The legitimate portion is a certain part of the estate that belongs to the children after the death of one of their parents, regardless of what the testator determined by testament.
Settlement of the inheritance
A common question is whether the settlement of the inheritance takes place correctly. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Sometimes there is a lack of openness and information. This can lead to distrust and doubt. In addition, heirs often do not know what their rights and duties are or what the rules are that an executor or liquidator must abide by.
As an international living in the Netherlands, navigating your way through inheritance law can be even more difficult. Our inheritance lawyers understand the specific needs of expats, and can help you to simplify inheritance law and what it means for you.
Looking for an inheritance lawyer in The Hague?
GMW lawyers is happy to assist you with its specialist knowledge and experience in the field of inheritance law. You can contact us by phone, email, or submit your question online.