Succession in Belgium – What does it mean for Germans living in Belgium?

posted in: National news

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On 5 March 2015, the Representation of Bavaria to the EU hosted an event on the German and Belgian laws of succession and tax laws, organised by the German notariat in cooperation with the International Council of the Belgian Notariat (C.I.N.B. – I.R.B.N.).

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This event mainly aimed to inform German citizens living in Belgium about changes resulting from the new EU Succession Regulation which will be applicable from 17 August 2015. These changes include EU-wide unified provisions on international competence regarding judicial decisions and authorities but will also concern the connecting factors in case of succession: as of 17 August.

The applicable law for German citizens will no longer be determined by the deceased’s nationality, but by his/her habitual residence if no other choice was expressly made. Unlike what many attendees may have assumed, the respective connecting factors for the fiscal law will not be changed by the regulation. The relevance of the topic for Germans living in Brussels was reflected in the high number of participants, with over 250 attendees.

In several presentations, given by notaries from Belgium and Germany and a German tax accountant, the participants were informed about the new regulation and the different laws applicable in matters of succession in Belgium and Germany as well as inheritance tax law including (un)limited tax liability and the respective Belgian legislation. The audience had the possibility to ask questions during the ensuing panel discussion. At the reception following the event, the participants were able to go into further detail with the speakers.