Restrictions on the freedom to dispose of one’s succession by will (reserved portion).
Last update: 10/1/2012
Only the deceased’s descendants (children or – if the children are already deceased – their children) are entitled to inherit the reserved portion. This does not mean the spouse or the ascendants.
The reserved portion amounts to half of the value of the legal inheritance of the forced heir concerned. If there are forced heirs, the deceased may in such circumstances dispose freely of only half of the estate (by value).
A beneficiary of the reserved portion may relinquish the reserved portion but only for himself/herself.
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 to which the children of the deceased are entitled corresponds to the worth of half of their legal portion of inheritance. (art. 4:64 CC)
What is the procedure to be followed to assert a right to the reserved portion? What are the time limits?
Heirs must assert their right to the reserved portion within five years after the death of the deceased. (art. 4:85 CC)
Is it possible to renounce the reserved portion?
No, according to art. 4:4 section 1 CC a legal act performed prior to the devolvement of the deceased’s estate shall be null and void to the extent that its necessary implication is to restrain a person from exercising any powers conferred to Book 4 of the Dutch Civil Code as regards such a deceased’s estate. Agreements which have as their necessary implication the disposal of the deceased’s estate which have not yet devolved in their entirety or for a proportionate part shall be null and void (art. 4:4 section 2 CC).
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Successions in the Netherlands
Current country: Germany