Notary for the creation of a last will and testament in the Netherlands: we are your trusted advisor

Creating a will might not be at the forefront of your mind right now. But ensuring your loved ones are supported and guided after you’re gone is vital. It’s not just about caring for them—it’s also about avoiding unexpected tax implications down the road.

Allow us, as a Dutch notary firm, to draw up a last will and testament in the Netherlands for you that outlines how you want your assets divided after you pass away.

The Dutch notary’s role in creating a notarial last will and testament

 

In a notarial will (also known as a last will and testament) made in the Netherlands, you can arrange and deal with several matters. You can decide, among other things:

  • 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.

Under Dutch law, the notarial will requirements are that:

  • you are 16 years or older; and
  • you are legally capable.

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 in the Central Wills Register after signing.

The importance of a testament as an expat in the Netherlands

 

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

  • Deviating from the statutory system

If you die without a will, Dutch inheritance law determines 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, however.

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 and you have died in the Netherlands, the Dutch juvenile court is authorised 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.

Benefits of an international notary

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.

 

Arranging a meeting with Westport Notarissen

We would be happy to lend you a hand in all Dutch and international legal matters. If needed, our advice can be in English.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for more information on any legal topic and to schedule an exploratory appointment. During this appointment, we can precisely determine what is needed to be done in your case.

frequently asked questions

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

Are foreign wills valid in the Netherlands?

Under the European and international regulations that also apply to the Netherlands, in principle, a foreign will be formally valid if they comply with either:

  • the law of the country of which the person making the will holds the nationality; or
  • the law of the place where the will was made.

Does the will have to be in Dutch?

The last will and testament made in the Netherlands does not have to be in Dutch for it to be valid. It could also be drawn up in the English language or any other language the person making the will and the responsible notary understand.

Why would you want to have a will?

In the Netherlands, a last will and testament would be needed to deviate from the regular inheritance regime that would otherwise be applicable to you by law after your death. To prevent this, it is necessary to make a will in which you dispose of your estate in another way.