When a person passes away, it is important for the relatives to make an appointment with a notary/solicitor as soon as possible so that all legal aspects are covered within good time.
The notary, after checking the Centraal Testamentenregister(Central Register of Wills) and other population registers, issues a verklaring van erfrecht (certificate of succession) recording the names of the heirs. Once in possession of this certificate, you can access the deceased’s bank and/or giro accounts (banks may block any accounts in the name of the deceased).
You also need to notify employers, insurance companies, mortgage companies, pension funds and so on.
The declaration of death duties and capital transfer tax must be dealt with within eight months of the death by the heirs/beneficiaries (or the executor of the will). An heir/beneficiary should realise that they are liable for the consequences of accepting the estate from the time of death. This means that the value of any stocks and shares as it was on the date of death will be taken to settle the death duties and capital transfer tax, even if the value has changed considerably by the time of payment.
It is also advisable to contact the Embassy or Consulate of the deceased; they will be able to inform you or help you in dealing with all the formalities.
Losing a family member is a terrible blow at all times and having to rush around in search of documents, statements and legal advice in order to take care of the settlement of the estate only contributes to the aggravation. In some cases, you have to deal with the law of both the Netherlands and the law of your home country, e.g. if you have possessions (a house, land, etc.) in your home country or a third country. Facing a death is a stressful experience, especially if it happens in a foreign country. If you feel that you need to seek counselling, ACCESS provides a Counselling Service Network. Click here for more information.