Brussels may see an alteration in inheritance privileges

De facto cohabitants will be equivalent to spouses and legal cohabitants in terms of inheritance rights in Brussels beginning next year, under certain conditions. The Brussels government approved a preliminary draft ordinance that would modernize inheritance rights in the region to reflect changes in cohabitation forms. The adjustments to the existing system of inheritance rights respond to social advancements, according to Brussels Finance Minister Sven Gatz. The reform aims to adapt inheritance rights to the demands of modern-day living in the Brussels-Capital Region, without putting an extra burden on the budget. The new regulations for inheritance and gift tax propose the following measures: 1) the assimilation of de facto cohabitants to spouses and legal cohabitants under certain conditions, 2) a reduced rate of 3% for a bequest to a friend on a first tranche of €15,000 for all individuals named in the will.

SUnder certain conditions, de facto cohabitants will be assimilated to spouses and legal cohabitants, in terms of inheritance rights, in Brussels, from next year.

The Brussels government validated on Thursday a preliminary draft ordinance modernizing inheritance rights in the Brussels Region in this sense, in accordance with the general policy statement of the Vervoort team. “The adaptations to the current system of inheritance rights that we want to implement respond to social developments in terms of forms of cohabitation”, commented Brussels Finance Minister Sven Gatz (Open VLD), at the end of the meeting of Brussels ministers.

According to him, the objective of the reform is to adapt inheritance rights to the needs of current life in the Brussels-Capital Region. These adjustments do not impose any additional burden on the budget.

In concrete terms, the new regulations for inheritance and gift tax provide for the following measures:

– Assimilation under certain conditions of de facto cohabitants to spouses and legal cohabitants. The project aims not to penalize people who, on the threshold of their life, live together without having formalized their union. The conditions for this assimilation are that the people have together formed a common household (in principle 1 year to benefit from the lowest rates, but 3 years to benefit from the exemption on family housing);

– Introduction of a reduced rate of 3% (“bequest to a friend”) on a first tranche of 15,000 euros (for the entire estate) for persons taxed according to the rates between brothers and sisters, between uncles/aunts or nephews and nieces and among all other persons, who are specifically named in the will of the deceased.

In conclusion, the Brussels government’s decision to modernize inheritance rights is a step towards recognizing the changing nature of relationships in our society. The assimilation of de facto cohabitants to spouses and legal cohabitants, under certain conditions, is a welcome change, as it ensures that all individuals are treated fairly when it comes to inheritance rights. This reform, coupled with the introduction of a reduced rate for certain individuals, will have a positive impact on the lives of many residents in the Brussels-Capital Region. It is heartening to see the government proactively addressing the needs of its citizens and adapting regulations accordingly.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.