How to Contest a Will in Belgium
How to Contest a Will in BelgiumUpdated on Wednesday 11th May 2016
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According to the local legislation, a testator (a person making a will) can leave his or her financial and material assets to other members of the family or to third parties who can be entitled to a part of the inheritance. In the situation in which a person considers that the share of inheritance he or she received does not reflect the minimum legal requirements, the individual can contest the will. The same rule is available for persons who were not mentioned in the will, who consider they have the legal right to a part of the inheritance. Our team of Belgium lawyers can provide legal advice on the way in which a particular situation should be handled.
Legal grounds to contest a Belgian will
It is important to know that a will can be contested under several situations, provided by the Inheritance Law. A will in Belgium becomes a valid act if the testator meets the following legal requirements:
• the persons has an age above 18 years old;
• the law stipulates that, under several conditions, minors with an age above 16 years old can write a will, comprising half of their assets;
• the person is mentally fit.
In the situation in which any of the above-mentioned stipulations are not met, the document can be contested.
The document can also be contested if its provisions do not meet the legal requirements prescribed by the Inheritance Law. For example, a surviving spouse in Belgium who does not have children is entitled to inherit the community property (matrimonial property), while for the private property, the person will receive an usufruct.
The usufruct refers to the right to own property assets and to collect sums of money related to that property (rent, dividends); our team of Belgium attorneys can offer more details on Inheritance Law.
Inheritance in Belgium
Persons who are interested in the inheritance law in Belgium should know that the local legislation prescribes a system through which several persons related to the testator will receive a part of his or her assets. These persons are entitled to the inheritance, even if the testator did not mention them in the will.
If the testator has one child, his heir will receive half of the assets; if there are two children, they will receive two thirds of the inheritance. A surviving spouse is entitled to receive the usufruct of half of the properties.
Persons who need more information on the legal grounds on which a will can be contested in Belgium can address to our Belgian law firm for legal advice.