Restrictions on the freedom to dispose of one’s succession by will (reserved portion).
Last update: 10/7/2012
Under the laws of Luxembourg, only the deceased’s descendants (children or – if the children are already deceased at the time of death – their children) are entitled to the reserved portion, but not the spouse and ascendants.
The reserved portion which limits the testator’s freedom to dispose freely of his/her assets in the form of a will, amounts to half of the legal succession if the deceased leaves only one child, to 2/3 of the estate if he/she leaves two children and to 3/4 of the estate if he/she leaves three or more children.
Forced heirs cannot renounce the reserved portion before the death of the deceased.
Is there a reserved portion set aside for heirs? What percentage of the estate does this reserved portion represent? What is its legal nature?
The reserved portion is not fixed as an individual percentage for each descendant, but as a total portion which varies depending on the number of descendants left by the deceased (1 child is entitled to ½ of the estate left by his or her father, mother or another ascendant – 2 children together have a reserved portion of 2/3 – 3 or more children together have a reserved portion of ¾).(Art 913 of the CCL).
What is the procedure to be followed to assert a right to the reserved portion? What are the time limits?
Forced heirs can only assert their rights to the reserved portion if they accept the succession and do not renounce it. Claims for the division of an estate (amicably or by order of the court) are inalienable, irrespective of the time that has elapsed since the opening of the succession. Imposing a time limit would result in the creation of a forced joint ownership. However, individual assets may be subject to adverse possession, in the case of an heir’s having uninterrupted possession for thirty years.
Is it possible to renounce the reserved portion?
It is possible to renounce the reserved portion. Forced heirs wishing to renounce their inheritance must do so expressly and formally, by filing a declaration with the clerk of the court of the district where the succession is opened; this declaration is entered in a special register kept for this purpose.
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Successions in Luxembourg
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