Spaargids.beIt is best to arrange inheritance during your lifetime. But many people find it difficult to broach the subject, for example with their parents. And what’s more: there are all kinds of misunderstandings about inheriting and donating. Time to clear up some of them: Spaargids.be lists six persistent misunderstandings.
Misconception 1: Arranging your inheritance is only necessary if you are rich
Only for those who own a lot would succession planning make sense to reduce inheritance tax. But that’s not the only reason why you do better work. With succession planning you can determine in advance who gets what. Even if you have to take the so-called legal reserves into account. These are the minimum parts of the inheritance to which your children or spouse are entitled.
Inheritance law is a complex, but extremely important matter: this is what you absolutely need to know about it.
Misconception 2: Arranging your inheritance is something for when you are old
Of course, it makes sense that you only think about dividing your estate after you have built it up. But disaster can also strike those who are still young. And planning doesn’t just have to be about the material. For example, you can establish guidelines about who should take care of your children if you are no longer able to do so yourself. In any case, don’t wait too long to arrange things. For example, as you get older, the risk of dementia increases. You will then be assigned an administrator or someone else who will make choices for you from now on.
Misconception 3: disinheriting children is not possible
Strictly speaking, that is indeed not possible, but some nuance is appropriate here. Your child is legally entitled to a minimum share of the estate: the legal reserve. But you can still include in your will that you disinherit your son or daughter. Your child must then take steps to obtain the minimum share of your inheritance. And the other heirs do not need him or her to complete the required formalities, as long as your child does not claim the legal reserve.
Receive an inheritance? This way you manage them in a smart way.
Misconception 4: Giving is irreversible
In itself it is correct: you cannot reverse a donation, except between spouses. But that doesn’t mean you can’t set conditions. Now suppose you donate your house. Then you can retain the use and enjoyment of your home and continue to live there for the rest of your life or rent out the property. You must have this condition recorded by the notary. Donating real estate such as a house or land can only be done via a notarial deed.
Misconception 5: donating must always be done through a notary
That is not correct. You can also simply pass on movable property (money, jewelry or bearer shares) from hand to hand. For example, via a bank donation, without gift tax being due. But there is a ‘but’. If the donor dies in Flanders within three years after the donation, its value is added to the inheritance for the calculation of the inheritance tax to be paid. In the Brussels Capital Region and Wallonia, the donation must have taken place four years ago.
Misconception 6: you can no longer change your will
A succession plan, once established, could no longer be revised. But that’s not right. To change a marriage contract, for example, you need the cooperation of your partner. But you decide your own will. You can change it for very different reasons: if you no longer live with your partner, if you get into an argument with a family member, and so on. The one thing you should always take into account are the legal reserves we talked about earlier. But otherwise a will is certainly flexible.
Don’t pay too much for drawing up your will? Click here to compare the costs for inheritance files at the banks.
Also read on Spaargids.be:
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