How can branch 23 insurance be of interest to blended families and de facto cohabitants?

Although inheritance taxes have recently been lowered in Flanders, in some cases they may still be high for blended families or de facto cohabiting couples (for example in the context of the family home). It is therefore important to find the best way to transfer (part of) your assets, within the limits of current succession law. We explain how below.

Some examples of delicate situations:

  • Jean and his new partner Dorothée are de facto cohabitants. However, Jean's children do not get along at all with Dorothée and have totally severed ties with their father. Jean owns a house. If John dies, the house will go to the children, and Dorothy will be left with no home. The same goes for John's savings.
  • Marianne has two daughters. She and Pedro are de facto cohabitants, and Pedro has a son. Marianne would like to leave part of her estate to Pedro's son, but this is not currently automatically provided for in legal succession law.

 Possible solutions:

  • A will would give you the opportunity to freely designate the beneficiaries of your estate. Be careful, however, as this freedom is limited. You will have to take the rightful heirs (children or spouse) into account. They are always entitled to part of the inheritance.
  • You can also take out life insurance (branch 21 or 23) and choose the beneficiary in the event that you should die before the policy expires. You will also have to take the rightful heirs into account. Your insurance broker can help you in this case.
  • An endowment is also an option. In this case, it is better to have a notary assist you.
  • Adoption is a radical solution in order to favour stepchildren with respect to inheritance.
  • The Valkeniers law states that married spouses in a blended family, in which one of the children is from a previous relationship, may provide for inheritance tax regulations in a marriage contract. In the new law of succession, this law has been extended: it is therefore possible for you as a stepfather or stepmother to renounce your inheritance completely as a spouse or legal cohabitant.

More information on NN branch 23 insurance and the possibilities of estate planning and asset transfer.

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