Inheritance in Belgium – appointment of the executor of the will and their role

Bartłomiej Tyndyk

Inheritance in Belgium – appointment of the executor of the will and their role

For obvious reasons, it is in the interest of testators to fully recreate their last will after death. One way to secure the rightful inheritance rights of the testator is to appoint a person whose task will be to faithfully fulfill their last will.

The possibility of appointing executors of wills is provided for by various national legal systems, including inheritance law in Belgium. Inheritance in Belgium is comprehensively regulated in the local civil code. It is in this code that all the most important issues related to inheritance law in Belgium are found, including the appointment of an executor of the will and their tasks in the inheritance procedure.

Executor of the Will in Belgian Inheritance Law

Under the currently applicable provisions of Belgian inheritance law, the person responsible for executing the will in accordance with the deceased’s last will is called the executor of the will. In essence, their role involves overseeing the entire estate, although it can also be limited to a specific part of the deceased’s estate. The primary task of the executor of the will is to ensure the proper execution of the testamentary provisions. In this way, Belgian inheritance law ensures the protection of the testator’s inheritance rights even after their death. The need to provide such protection is indisputable, considering the subject matter of the testamentary statements, i.e., the entire life’s work of the deceased testator. Importantly, the role of the executor of the will should not be equated with dividing the estate or managing it.

Executors of wills in Belgian inheritance law can be both Belgian citizens and foreigners from other countries. Such a responsible function should be entrusted only to a person whom the testator trusted greatly during their lifetime. As practice shows, family members of the testator and their closest friends most often act as executors of wills. In the absence of such individuals, the execution of the will may also be entrusted to representatives of professions of public trust, especially notaries, who are required to be impartial by their respective codes of professional ethics.

Appointment of the Executor of the Will in Belgian Inheritance Law

To appoint an executor of the will, the testator must make a relevant provision in their will. Failure to meet this requirement will render all their efforts in vain. Importantly, the person designated as the executor of the will may refuse to perform this responsible function. It is associated with taking on numerous duties, and not everyone wants to take on such responsibilities. For this reason, the testator should consider appointing an alternative executor of the will, who will act as the executor of the will in case the first person designated by the testator refuses.

Furthermore, Belgian inheritance law allows for the appointment of more than one executor of the will. In this configuration, they act as co-executors of the will. The possibility of appointing co-executors of the will is undoubtedly beneficial from the perspective of the interests of the heirs since individuals in this role are obliged to cooperate, making it more difficult to “distort” the actual will of the deceased.

Inheritance from Belgium – Here’s How We Can Help

Foreign inheritance law provisions often raise many doubts in practice. However, knowledge of these laws is essential for inheriting assets in Belgium or any other country in the world. Inheritance in Belgium also requires a comprehensive knowledge of several provisions of Polish law and conflict of laws rules. As a law firm, Lawyer in Europe, we are well aware of all the issues related to inheritance abroad. Therefore, if needed, we are more than willing to help with legal matters as well as more administrative tasks such as repatriating remains from abroad or translating all necessary documentation.

The lawyers cooperating within the international law firm Lawyer in Europe are qualified specialists in foreign inheritance law who will handle all the necessary formalities. We guarantee comprehensive legal protection to each of our clients and provide invaluable experience and knowledge. So if you have been called to inherit in Belgium, please contact our law firm. Not only will you save your valuable time, but you will also avoid bureaucracy. Client interests are our top priority.



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