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Will Preparation in Belgium

Will Preparation in Belgium

The will or final testament is a legal document used to pass on the assets of an individual as per his or her express wishes while also observing the laws of inheritance. Succession, also known as the transfer of assets after the departure of an individual, may be performed based on a will drawn up in Belgium or as per the general inheritance laws when a will does not exist.

Will preparation in Belgium generally takes place before a notary public. Alternatively, the testator can handwrite the will himself, and it will be executed after his/her death. 

Our team of Belgian lawyers can help you draw up a will and handle any matters related to international testaments.

Types of will used in Belgium

Belgian residents and non-residents have three options when deciding to prepare a will in Belgium:

– the authentic will or the notarial will, which is drafted before a notary public in Belgium;

– the handwritten will or the holographic will drafted by the testator himself, signed and dated and executed upon the testator’s death with the help of a notary public;

– the international will used when the testator is a foreign national or when he/she has assets in more than one jurisdiction.

The will is generally drawn up before two witnesses, especially for the notarial will, and it is read by the notary to the testator in the presence of these two witnesses.

One of our attorneys in Belgium can help you draw up a holographic will and can help you with more information about the subsequent registration of this document.

Wills in Belgium: taxation and legal considerations

Individuals who accept the inheritance in Belgium are subject to the inheritance tax in the country. This has a higher rate depending on where the property is located (Brussels, Wallonia, or Flanders) and on the relative’s degree. For example, first degree relatives like spouses, children, brothers, or sisters are subject to different taxes compared to aunts, nephews and other relatives.

This tax also applies to non-Belgian residents who must also consider the provisions of the double taxation treaties.

Contact our law firm in Belgium for more information on the Inheritance Law and any issues related to drawing up wills in the country.