Hoge Raad

Spell it out and let them know

When abroad, the death of a friend or colleague brings home to you how much trouble unfinished business can add to sorrow. For lasting peace of mind, dare to take the extra step and review the scenario you’d prefer in the case of your untimely demise: draw up a Last Will and make things easy for those you love.

A last will is too important a document to be done without seeking the advice of a lawyer or a notary. Dutch law requires a last will to be drawn up by a notary. One is also well advised to check if a previously formulated will complies with the new host country’s inheritance law. Your will made before moving to The Netherlands will be recognised, as long as the formalities required by the law of the country where the will was drawn up were fulfilled.

As the Testator, for the division of property and assets, pension rights and custody rights, you can choose a different law (one law per testament) to the law of the country in which you reside at the moment you draw up your will if:

  • you have the respective country’s nationality at the time you choose its inheritance law to apply for your case;
  • you have the respective country’s nationality at the time of your death;
  • you have habitually resided in the respective country at the time you choose its inheritance law to apply for your case;
  • you have habitually resided in the respective country at the time of your death.

In general, it will be possible to have your will executed in The Netherlands unless the will contains provisions that are contrary to Dutch law (eg, in the case of a ‘share-testament’ that prescribes that a daughter inherits only half of a son’s inheritance).

For more information, please contact us – our experts in inheritance will be glad to help you.