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Inheritance law

Estate, beneficiary or accept or waive

If you are an heir to an estate, you will need to decide whether to accept it or waive it. An estate can be accepted in different ways, namely, net or beneficiary.

Net acceptance

Net acceptance of an estate means that you accept the inheritance in full and without reservations. This entails that, from a legal perspective, the assets of the decedent will be deemed part of your private assets. This means, among other things, that you will be privately liable for debts in the estate if the debts cannot be paid from the estate.

If you have opted for net acceptance, but are subsequently confronted with unexpected debts left behind by the decedent, you will still be able to opt for beneficiary acceptance under certain circumstances. In that case, you would be well advised to contact a lawyer as soon as possible. This is particularly important, as a limited period of validity applies to those conditions.

Acceptance under the benefit of inventory

In the case of a beneficiary acceptance, you state that you wish to accept the inheritance with the benefit of inventory. Your private assets will then remain separate from the decedent’s estate. The basic principle here is that you will not be liable for the debts of the decedent from your private assets.


You also have the option of renouncing the estate. This means that you refuse acceptance of the estate. You can denounce an inheritance by making a declaration to that effect in a court of law.

Are you an heir to an estate, but you are not sure what to do? If so, please do not hesitate to contact one of our inheritance law specialists. 

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