Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Mort Subite, an expatriate dies in Belgium ….

Estate Planning for Expatriates

13 January @ 18:00 19:00

Cabinet DAVID

+32 2 786 36 00

View Organiser Website

If you came to live in Belgium for work or love, you may have discovered that things are different from what you are used to at home. Things can also get a little bit more complex in other circumstances – for example if you are about to inherit from your parents, have a holiday home in Italy and France and bank accounts there to pay for the charges and utilities.

That is before other complications can occur, such as a spouse with a different nationality, parents and in-laws living in England, Greece and children in the US, Hong Kong or Spain, while you plan to retire in Italy.

In addition, the days are long gone when estate planning was just about limiting inheritance tax for a happy couple who have been married for 40 years, with two well-adjusted children and four lovely grandchildren. Estate planning has become more complex. It is not only about planning around ever changing laws, but also around non-traditional families, estranged families, and everything in between.

The purpose of this TEP-talk is to correct some misunderstandings and help you plan your estate. We will look at it from the point of No Return : Mort subite. You are dead, what now?

If you want to download our Viewpoin on Death and Taxes, click here. And why not take the quiz below.

If you have any questions that may be useful to address or any suggestions, please click here.

Do I pay Belgian inheritance tax when I inherit from my uncle who lives abroad in ...?

Correct! Wrong!

You only pay Belgian inheritance tax on the estate of someone who died as a Belgian resident, or on Belgian real estate of someone who lived abroad.

Does my spouse pay Belgian inheritance tax?

Correct! Wrong!

Spouses pay inheritance tax except when they inherit the family home.

Is Belgian inheritance tax due on my holiday home on Ibiza?

Pollença Mallorca
Correct! Wrong!

If you die as a Belgian resident, Belgian inheritance tax is due on everything that is in your estate, even that house in Ibiza.

Can I opt for my Swedish nationality to apply the Swedish inheritance rules and the Swedish inheritance tax (note : Sweden does not have inheritance tax)?

Correct! Wrong!

EU Succession Regulation (EU) No 650/2012 allows you to opt for the inheritance rules of the country of your nationality, but that does not extend to inheritance tax.

What is the highest inheritance tax rate in Brussels for nieces and nephews?

Correct! Wrong!

In Brussels, brothers and sisters pay inheritance tax rates between 20 and 65%, nieces and nephews between 25 and 70% and all others between 30 and 80%

Is the Will I made in Spain valid in Belgium?

Correct! Wrong!

Belgium recognizes Wills drawn up outside Belgium if they are drafted in accordance with your national law, or with the law of the country of your domicile or residence, or even under the rules of the country where you own real estate. However a foreign Will needs to be translated into one of the official languages (Dutch, French or German) and translated in terms that are consistent with the Belgian rules that protect certain heirs.

I work for the European Parliament. I was hired here. I am exempt from Belgian inheritance tax?

Correct! Wrong!

Only officials of the Institutions of the European Union, the European Investment Bank, NATO, the Western European Union, etc ... who are living in Belgium for the purpose of carrying out their duties are considered to have kept their domicile in their country of origin for inheritance tax purposes. If these officials are not domiciled in Belgium, their heirs will not pay Belgian inheritance tax unless they owned real estate in Belgium.

I can give everything away to my friends during my lifetime and with not much left in my estate, there will be no inheritance tax?

Correct! Wrong!

I can give everything away to my friends during my lifetime and with not much left in my estate, there will be no inheritance tax? This is correct for gifts before a notary. Gift tax is due at 3% on movables for parents, children, spouses and civil partners, 7% for all others. In Wallonia the rates are 3.3% and 5.5%. If gift tax has been paid, no inheritance tax is due. It is not obligatory to make gifts of movables before a notary. Hand-to-hand gifts and bank gifts are valid and exempt of gift tax. However, if the donor does not live for another three years (five years in Wallonia) after the gift, the gift is added back to the estate to calculate the inheritance tax, unless gift tax has been paid directly to the tax office.

If I die, my spouse receives my company pension. That is not liable to inheritance tax, is it?

estate planning
Correct! Wrong!

When you die before you have taken up your pension, the employer’s pension fund or group insurance will pay out the value of your pension plan. This is tax exempt if it is inherited by a partner of a child under 21. If you have your own company, and you work as a self-employed, that pension is liable to inheritance tax.

Is life insurance liable to inheritance tax in Belgium?

Correct! Wrong!

That depends. In principle, inheritance tax is due on the capital paid out by a life insurance company at the time of the death of the insured, it is irrelevant whether the assurance had been taken out by himself or by someone else. If the insured is also the policyholder, the proceeds are liable to inheritance tax even if they are paid out during the three years before, or at any time after his death. If the death benefit is paid out to the spouse, only half of the proceeds are liable to inheritance tax if the premiums were paid out of community property. Inheritance tax is not due when one takes out life insurance on someone else's life and receives the benefit.

Estate Planning Quiz for Expatriates in Belgium

Latest posts by Marc Quaghebeur (see all)