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Inheritance laws


Am asking for a friend, we are baffled - we hear from one notaire and have also read, that if the deceased is no longer a Belgian resident and has moved to live away from the EU - where he also died - that the inheritance laws concerning property in Belgium, are those of the country of last residence and overrule the Belgian law. Other lawyers beg to differ.
Could anyone point me in the right direction before we start throwing money at lawyers / notaries? a good inheritance guide that goes beyond the European standards?
many thanks


I'm afraid it's not at all clear what your question is.

Someone who is not resident in the EU owns property in Belgium. They have now died. Does the property in Belgium have to devolve according to Belgian law?

If that is the question, the answer will depend on a lot of factors. Such as where they were resident when they died, did they have a will, are they married, do they have children, etc. etc.

Also, what are you trying to achieve? Do you want to inherit part of the Belgian property?

Feb 26, 2020 09:21

My notaris advised me that I should make a will here to cover my Belgian property and another one to cover my UK property. Where I am resident at the time of my death and where I actually die are irrelevant. My property will be dealt with according to the law of the land where the property is located and, if I have not made a will, will be dealt with under the intestacy rules of that country.

Feb 26, 2020 09:54

Is there a will?

Feb 26, 2020 09:58

I thought further about this.
I own property here worth, say, €250,000 which I will leave to 3 Belgian resident offspring.
€250,000 is above the level at which inheritance tax is payable in Belgium but BELOW the level at which it would be payable in the UK.
If I return to live in the UK, will the Belgian authorities accept that my kids don't have to pay tax when inheriting property here because those are the rules in another (soon to be non-EU) country? I don't know, but I cannot believe that it would be so.

Feb 26, 2020 14:03

I explored this a bit recently following the death of a parent, in the UK (born and lived there always, all assets in the UK).

My brother who lives in another EU state, believes he will, as a beneficiary, have to pay some inheritance tax. Based on the KBC advice I received, I don't think I will, there is no liability for me here or in the UK. I am going to check this but it seems pretty clear.

It's clearly complicated and each case is different, and depends on the countries involved.

Feb 26, 2020 14:13

Try Berquin Notaris. They are well up on international law for this type of situation. You don’t normally have to pay a notary until they need to actually draw up papers for you. Even then they are cheap in comparison to lawyers.

Feb 26, 2020 23:52