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Making of Wills post Brexit


Dear Sirs,
We are a married British couple who have lived and worked in Belgium for 35 years nearing retirement and would like to leave our home and assets to our daughter who was born here.
We are intending to leave Belgium to live in Spain.
We have children from previous marriages who are adults now and lost contact with and would not be included in a will. What is our position regarding the law “post Brexit” to leaving a will given that we are officially have Belgium residency
Are we bound by Belgium laws or can we as foreigners IE, British Citizens make a will in our own country?

Kind regards
Rob Blakemore


Given the compexities here, fixed assets in Belgium, you moving to Spain and your wish to exclude your other children from their inheritance, you're going to need proper legal advice. Go and speak with a notaire.

The simle fact is that you can make a will wherever you like, but there are local legal requirements, including laws that relate to "forced" inheritance and inheritance tax, that you need to consider, in each jurisdiction, the UK, Belgium and Spain. In some cases these will overide what you write in a will.

Just as an example, in Belgium it is actually extremely difficult to disinherit a child. In the case of your home, and other assets in Belgium, the other children will almost certainly have a claim if they choose to make one, irrespective of what your will may say in the U.K or Spain.

As a starter - read this;

So if you're sure about what you want to do, don't try and do this as a DIY project as you will be handing your child a legal nightmare.

A notaire, preferably one that has experience of international work should be your first port of call.

Feb 18, 2023 10:47

It's the same law as it was pre-Brexit.

You can write a hand-written will leaving all your property to whoever you want. As you are both British, you can legally do this, as you can choose which inheritance law applies. You cannot choose which tax law applies though - if you die in Belgium, it is Belgian tax law.

You would be well advised to consult a Belgian notary to make sure that the wording of the will is correct and can't be contested. You also need to consider what you would leave to each other should only one of you die.

When you move to Spain, you will need to consult with a Spanish lawyer/notary and write a new will. The same EU regulation applies, but the tax implications are different.

The law that allows you to do this is the EU Succession Regulation (EU/650/2012).

Feb 25, 2023 16:21