Inheritance tax

You do not want to realize that you will not be there later. Yet it is nice if everything is well arranged at that time. That is why it is important to reflect on your inheritance. What should you think about?

Inheritance tax

A will can ensure that your heirs have to pay less tax. For example, if you leave money to persons in the second group, your parents and your brothers and sisters inherit. They all pay inheritance tax. If your parents die, then your brothers and sisters will inherit money from them. They also pay inheritance tax there.

Your inheritance ultimately comes from your brothers and sisters. You could have arranged this through a will. Your brothers and sisters then only had to pay an inheritance tax once.

Tip: If you are cohabiting and not married, it is advisable to draw up a will. Without a will, the surviving partner has no right to the inheritance.

What is covered by an inheritance?

A legacy or legacy consists of everything that someone leaves behind. Many people think of savings and a house of their own. But clothing, jewelry, furniture, and debts also belong to an inheritance.

What if I do not rule anything?

If there is no will, the inheritance is divided according to the rules of inheritance law. The spouse or registered partner and family members are then the heirs. If you live together, your partner is not an heir. Not even if you have a cohabitation contract. Relatives (such as brother-in-law, mother-in-law or step-children) are also no heirs.

Four groups of heirs

According to the law, there are four groups of heirs. In principle, the inheritance goes to persons in the first group. Are not there? Then people from the second group inherit, et cetera.

A group also looks at children of blood relatives. There are also grandchildren among the first group. Cows and nieces also fall under group two. If there are no heirs, the state inherits everything.

The groups are:

  1. Spouses (or registered partners) and children
  2. Parents, brothers, and sisters
  3. Grandparents
  4. Great grandparents

The surviving partner (the ‘longest living’) and all children together have in principle every right to half the inheritance. They each inherit an equal share. If the partner is still alive, the children are not paid their part immediately. The surviving partner owns the entire estate and is allowed to do what he or she wants. The children receive a cash claim from the surviving partner. This claim has the value of their inheritance. They can claim the claim if the spouse dies or goes bankrupt.


Do you not want your inheritance to be distributed according to the legal rules? Then you can make a will. In it you can designate anyone you want as heir. This heir will receive all your possessions and debts after your death. You can also disinherit those who would inherit from you according to the legal inheritance law. For example, your spouse. You can not disinhibit children. They always hold the right to half the inheritance.

Exclusion clause

In a will, you can also include conditions for accepting an inheritance. Consider, for example, an exclusion clause. If your children are married, the inheritance remains their own. In case of a divorce, the inheritance does not end up with the ex-spouse of your child. For children who marry from January 1, 2018, this is the standard clause. 

Codicil for small business

For small businesses, it is sometimes more convenient to make a codicil. This must be a handwritten letter, with a date and signature. If the codicil is a typed letter, it is not valid. With a codicil you can arrange the following after your death:

  • Distributing household effects. The household effects such as jewelry, furniture, and clothes must then be clearly and separately described.
  • Wishing for funeral or cremation.

You can not leave money, paintings, works of art or immovable property to anyone by codicil.

The advantage of a codicil is that you make it yourself. You do not have to go to the notary. You can easily change the codicil. You just make a new version and throw the old way. A disadvantage is that it can get lost or it can be destroyed by a malicious person. It is important that the codicil meets the requirements. Is the codicil not clear? Or can it be explained in several ways? Then it is invalid.

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