Our mission is to translate complex legal issues for you into comprehensible results.
Are you going to live together?
If parties do not wish the consequences of the marriage under property law and inheritance law, shape can be given to the relationship by way of a cohabitation contract.
In principle, a cohabitation contract sets out financial agreements between partners living together. Some examples are: the contribution of each of the partners to the household expenses, to which partner certain items of movable property belong, and what happens if one of the partners dies and real estate is registered in both of their names.
Having a notarial cohabitation contract may be a requirement of some authorities before certain arrangements and benefits are granted. One can think of healthcare insurance, and the accrual of partner pension for the benefit of the other partner.
The civil-law notary or candidate civil-law notary will discuss the differences with you between marriage and living together without being married, as well as the consequences thereof. Take into account, for example, that unmarried partners living together do not automatically inherit from each other. The cohabitation contract will be drawn up on the basis of the discussion and the partners’ wishes.
Are you going to get married?
Relationships between two persons, also of the same sex, can be formalized by marriage. The marriage must be solemnized before a civil registrar and must be entered in the civil registers.
Solemnization of the marriage has the consequence, for example, that the statutory community property regime will be created between the parties (if they do not deliberately depart from this in a marriage contract), and the spouses will become each other’s heir (if they do not depart from this in a will).
The consequences of the statutory community property regime can be excluded if the future spouses make a prenuptial agreement. The prenuptial agreement is a contract between future spouses, in which they arrange the consequences of the marriage under property law. The law sets the requirement of a notarial instrument for this. The prenuptial agreement must be signed before the marriage is solemnized.
There can be several reasons for drawing up a prenuptial agreement, including:
– protection of a spouse against the business risks of the other spouse who is also an entrepreneur. This excludes claims on the former’s private assets;
– exclusion of claims on assets or on certain items of property in the event of divorce;
– exclusion of the division of inheritances or donations.
The future spouses can choose, for example between:
– exclusion of the statutory community property regime, with a choice of setoff clauses to ease the consequences of this; or
– a limited community property regime.
It is also possible that spouses who are already married subject to making a prenuptial agreement will change it later. Spouses who did not previously make a prenuptial agreement can still make one during the marriage, with permission from the court.
Please note: prenuptial agreements only arrange the consequences under property law during the existence of the marriage and the termination of the marriage by divorce. To arrange the consequences (under property law) on the event of the death of one of the spouses, a will has to be made.
Buying or Selling a House
Are you going to buy or sell a house?
If you want to buy or sell a house or land, then the agreements between the parties must be recorded. Your civil-law notary or candidate civil-law notary, who is independent and impartial, advises parties on this, and will safeguard the interests of the parties. Your civil-law notary or candidate civil-law notary will be pleased to draw up the written contract of sale for the parties.
It is advisable for you, as the buyer, to check before the purchase whether there are special obligations that will require you – as the buyer and future owner – to do something, or, rather, not to do something. Examples of this are that you must regularly maintain your garden, that the neighbor will be allowed to use your garden to go to the public road, or that you may not keep pets other than cats and dogs on your lot.
After the contract of sale has been concluded, legal transfer will have to take place. You need to go to the civil-law notary for this, who, by law, is the only one who can take care of the transfer. The civil-law notary or candidate civil-law notary will draw up the deed of transfer. If the purchase is financed by a mortgage loan, the mortgage deed will be drawn up as well. The deed of transfer will be signed by the seller, the buyer and the civil-law notary. The mortgage deed will be signed by the mortgagor (being the buyer), the mortgagee (usually a bank), and the civil-law notary.
The civil-law notary then provides for entry of a copy of the deed(s) in the public registers of the Land Registry in order to effect the intended legal consequences.
Costs are involved in buying a house or land. Beside the purchase price, the civil-law notary will also charge you other costs, such as:
– transfer tax;
– cadastral charges;
– the civil-law notary’s fee.
The civil-law notary or candidate civil-law notary will draw up a closing statement, which will give you an overview of the total costs in connection with the purchase and possible mortgage. These are normally payable by the purchaser, but the contract of sale may depart from this, and the costs may be payable in part by the seller.
Certificate of Inheritance
Do you need a certificate of inheritance?
If your partner/husband/wife or a family member has died, and various authorities have asked for a certificate of inheritance, you can contact us for this. Institutions including banks and insurance companies will want to find out who the heirs are, or who is authorized to dispose of the estate. They will obtain this information from the certificate of inheritance.
Before issuing the certificate of inheritance, the civil-law notary will conduct a search. They will find out from the Central Register of Wills (CTR) whether the deceased person made a will, and, if so, before which civil-law notary the last will was prepared. The Civil Register will also be searched for possible marriages and children. If necessary, the marital property register can be searched as well. The heirs will be approached, and the civil-law notary or candidate civil-law notary will inform them about their choice and their corresponding rights and obligations. The certificate of inheritance will be drawn up on the basis of information including the above-mentioned information. By way of this, the civil-law notary declares who the heir is/heirs are and who is/are authorized to dispose of the property of the estate.
Starting a Business
Are you going to start a business?
A starting entrepreneur will have to choose a legal form by which his/her business will be run. There are different legal forms, each of which has its own rules. The entrepreneur can, for example, run his/her business as a sole proprietorship, partnership, a private limited company (B.V.) or a limited company (N.V.). The legal form most appropriate for your business will depend on, for example, the purpose of your business and how the arrangement of the board of directors should be organized. Your civil-law notary or candidate civil-law notary can advise you on this choice.
The deed of incorporation will be signed by the founder(s), board member(s) and the civil-law notary. The deed of incorporation contains the articles of incorporation of the legal entity, in which the name, seat, and purpose of the legal entity is recorded. The civil-law notary will provide for entry of the legal entity and the member(s) of the board of directors in the registers of the Chamber of Commerce.
Do you want to make a will?
The law regulates what is to be done with the estate (the whole of possessions and debts) of the deceased on his/her death, and who the heirs are. If a testator wants to confirm derogation from the law or statutory provisions, a last will must be made.
The following matters, for example, can be arranged:
– who the heirs will be and to what share;
– an arrangement for the benefit of the surviving spouse, by which all property from the estate is allocated to this person;
– disinheritance of a spouse or children;
– bequests, in which specific items of property from the estate are allocated to certain persons;
– the usufruct and/or right to use and occupy certain items of property left;
– administration of the property left;
– appointment of a guardian when minor children are left;
– appointment of an executor who will settle the estate;
– a fideicommissum.
Changing a Will
It is very possible that your actual situation will change in the course of time, owing to which your will is no longer in line with the new facts or wishes. In that case, it is advisable to have your will changed. We can advise you on this.
Central Register of Wills
Your will will be registered in the Central Register of Wills (CTR). In this register, only who made a will, when this was done and before which civil-law notary this was done are kept up to date. So the contents of your will are not registered in the CTR. On your death and release of the estate, it will be verified whether you made a will, and, if so, at which civil-law notary the last will was made. As long as you are still alive, the will does not have effect, and you can change your will at all times.
Identification of clients
Pursuant to statutory provisions relating to identification in case of financial services, the civil-law notary is required to establish your identity in advance, and perform a comprehensive client screening. For the sake of certainty, first contact your civil-law notary or candidate civil-law notary to verify which identity documents are needed in your specific case.