Inheritance

Losing a loved one is a terrible blow, at all times and having to rush around in search of documents, statements and legal advice in order to take care of the settlement of the estate only contributes to the aggravation. All the more so when living far away from the rest of your core family and support network and having to deal with the international aspects. Heirs often wonder whether all has been done correctly. Clear and reliable advice in matters of inheritance law is vital, so that at some point life can go on.

General criteria of applicability of Dutch inheritance law are given, however, the devil is in the details’. Each country, according to its own International Private Law, decides which regime is applicable. While this may seem straightforward, there can be so many conflicting circumstances that even this is not clear-cut. Overseas assets, the nationalities of the deceased and the beneficiary, the nature of the partnership arrangements, married, common law relationships, children, no children – and all the attenuating details can also be of consequence.

GMW’s LED has a section dedicated to the ins and outs of international inheritance law, clarifying aspects such as:

  • Does your (foreign) will comply with Dutch Law?
  • Which law is applicable?
  • Who belongs to the first, second, third etc. group of heirs?
  • What is the tax burden on the inheritance?
  • How to secure parts of the inheritance that are abroad?
  • Which law kicks in when there is no will?
  • How to best divide assets?
  • Gifts and donations previously made by the testator;
  • Problems between a child from a previous marriage and the surviving step parent;
  • Disputes around the value of the assets to be divided.
  • What happens with the inheritance when you get divorced?

It is impossible to give an easy answer to all possible scenarios, since each and every situation is unique.

More Inheritance Articles

Death in the Netherlands – how to deal with inheritance issues
Thijs Sarneel

The death of a relative is never an easy thing to deal with, but can be even more complicated and distressing when you live in a foreign country. What does Dutch law say about succession and inheritance? Say you are French, have an American partner and have lived in the Netherlands for the past three […]

Proof of cohabitation and the duty to pay maintenance: it remains difficult!
Susan Meijler

It remains a frustrating situation when you are almost positive that your ex-partner is cohabiting but cannot actually prove it. Then you must continue to pay maintenance (alimony). Anyone can imagine that this frustration is hard to swallow. The duty to pay maintenance ends when the ex-partner (having been married) lives together with another person as […]

Your digital legacy
Sieta Autar

Have you ever wondered what happens to your digital legacy when you die? Think of all your online accounts and domain names, Facebook and Twitter accounts. And what about your e-mail account or online shopping credit? And who tells your online friends? How do relatives gain access to your accounts if they don’t know of […]