Creating a will in the Netherlands: our solution-oriented approach

Making a will may not be your top priority at this moment. However, to leave your loved ones behind properly instructed and well taken care for, it is crucial to make a will. This also applies to preventing any unnecessary tax burdens from arising after your death.

How to make a will? Let us assist you in your estate planning by creating a will in which you set out which principles should apply to division of your estate after death.

What does it mean to make a will?

In a will (also known as a last will and testament), you decide:

  • what is to happen to your assets after you pass away;
  • who is supposed to execute your will; and
  • your desires relating to your funeral.

How do I make a will?

In many countries around the globe, usually a lawyer or solicitor is contacted to draw up a will. In the Netherlands, however, it is a notary who draws up a will. The notary also registers the will after signing in a central wills register. Under Dutch law, You are allowed to make a will if you are 16 years or older.

Should I make a will? Why it is necessary

Though you may not want to think about it, it is absolutely crucial that you make a will for the following reasons:

  • deviating from the statutory system
    If you die without a will, there are rules that determine how your estate should be wound up and divided. This also relates to the issue of determining the beneficiaries of you estate. This may not be in accordance with your wishes.
    By making a will, you ensure that the manner in which your estate is wound up and divided is clear.
  • designating an executor and guardian, if needed
    In a will, you can also state who should be responsible for dividing and allocating your assets (an executor) and designate a guardian of your children, if they are under 18 years of age at the time of your death.
    If you do not do this, your heirs will be the ones dividing your assets and administering them until the winding up and devolution of your estate is concluded, which may lead to issued. Furthermore, if there is no other person with parental authority, no will for the custody of you child and you have died in the Netherlands, the Dutch juvenile court is authorized to appoint a guardian for your minor child. This guardian appointed by the court may not be as fit to act as such as a person you may already have in mind to act as guardian of your children (a relative, for instance).
  • preventing unnecessary tax burdens
    It is possible to reduce the sum of inheritance tax owed by your heirs after your death by having your estate planning arranged in your will.

Let us assist you in creating your will

As an internationally oriented notary firm, Westport Notarissen possesses over years of experience in providing expat clients with advice on creating their will and arranging their estate planning. We take pride in the fact that we are able to prepare the will for you in English. The appointment for the signing of the agreement could also take place in the English language, among other languages we can speak. We will not have to arrange a translator or an interpreter.

> Do you want to find out the meaning of a living will? We are here to anser all your questions.

frequently asked questions

Below, we have listed a few frequently asked questions by individuals who contact us.

Are foreign prenuptial agreements valid in the Netherlands?

Under the European and international regulations that also apply to the Netherlands, prenuptial agreements will be formally valid if they comply with either:

  • the domestic law applicable to the marital property regime; or
  • the domestic law of the place where the prenuptial agreement was concluded.

To be valid, the prenuptial agreement, before and after a marriage, must principally be in writing, dated and signed by both spouses.

Why would you want to have a marriage with a prenuptial agreement?

A family law prenuptial agreement would be needed to deviate from the marital property regime that would otherwise be applicable to you once you solemnize your marriage. To prevent this system from applying to you, it is necessary to regulate your marital property regime as desired by you in your prenuptial agreement.

Does the prenuptial agreement have to be in Dutch only?

The prenuptial agreement for a marriage does not have to be in Dutch only. It could also be drawn up in the English language or any other language the spouses understand. However, as the prenuptial agreement will also have to be registered in the marital property register, it will also have to have a Dutch version. This means that a prenuptial agreement could be a bilingual document, meaning that it could contain a Dutch version as well as a non-Dutch version.