Misunderstandings about estate planning






These are ten of the most common misunderstandings newcomers to Belgium have about estate planning.



  1. “Surely, this does not concern me; I am not Belgian.”
  2. “I have no worries about inheritance tax. I have taken up domicile in Sweden and Sweden has no inheritance tax anymore”
  3. “I will just leave everything to my wife, and she will leave everything to me. When I am gone, she can then decide what she does with our money”.
  4. “My wife and I made a will in Ireland to leave each other our house in Dublin. There is no inheritance tax between husband and wife there.”
  5. “My first wife took half of everything when we divorced in the U.K. Now I just want to think about giving some financial security to my new wife and our children. The children from my first marriage are well taken care of: they will inherit from their mother.”
  6. “My husband and I divorced last year; it was not pleasant at all. Now I have a good job and I could finally buy a house. I want to leave my house to my daughter. She is three now; I do not want my husband to live in the house.”
  7. “I work for the EU Commission. I joined from the U.K. so that my heirs will pay inheritance tax in the U.K. If I leave everything to my wife, we do not have to worry about Belgian inheritance tax.”
  8. “We have paid tax on my husband’s company pension when he redeemed it upon retirement. That was last year; surely we do not have to pay inheritance tax as well”
  9. “My husband has set up his personal services company Jack O’Donnell SPRL and that works out very well. He saves on social security and tax. We have the house and the cars in the company and we pay little tax.”
  10. “If I read this book, I can do my own estate planning”