Disinheriting & the statutory share

Sometimes parents decide to disinherit a child or their children.  Disinheritance must be implicitly or explicitly stated in a will.

Despite being disinherited, children can still make a claim on a portion, known as the statutory share. The statutory share is the legal part of an estate that must be always be left to children after the death of one of their parents, irrespective of what the deceased has stated in their will.

The statutory share

In the Netherlands this portion amounts to half of the legal inheritance. The surviving spouse, the parents and stepchildren or foster children of the deceased do not have a right to a statutory share. The child, or legitimate heir, must claim their statutory share within five years of the death of the testator. The statutory share only gives a right to a financial claim. Therefore a disinherited child cannot claim any goods, such as part of the estate. The monetary claim cannot be claimed before six months have passed after the death of the testator. If a statutory division applies, the disinherited child can only claim their statutory share upon the death of the surviving spouse. A disinherited child can also opt to accept the disinheritance.

The size and calculation of the statutory share

The calculation of the statutory share is determined more than on the basis of the total value of the estate. Gifts made by the deceased during their lifetime may be taken into account. Also some debt, for example funeral costs, may be deducted from the estate prior to calculating the share.

Reasons for the statutory sum

The law exists to attempt to prevent a parent from giving money before their death to reduce the size of the estate.

Is complete disinheritance possible?

The complete disinheritance of a child is not possible in the Netherlands. In the Netherlands and other countries, the decision about how to divide money is limited by law.

What can you do?

The law still gives disinherited children a right to a statutory share, even if the child is disinherited by one of the parents. How can you demand these rights as a child, or how can you influence the statutory sum? How do you calculate the statutory sum? What is taken into account to calculate the statutory sum? The issue of the statutory share is not a simple matter and therefore it is advisable to retain an inheritance lawyer.

Get advice you can trust

If you would like to know more about your rights and obligations regarding disinheritance, please contact us; we’ll be glad to help.

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