With an attorney

What can you expect from an inheritance case in which you are assisted by an attorney?

 

STEP 1: Initial meeting

During the initial meeting, the lawyer will discuss your wishes with you. What do you want to achieve? We explain your situation and what rights and obligations you have. Are your wishes feasible? We discuss possible strategies and talk about how to approach the case. We also consider any urgent issues and see how we can resolve these quickly. Finally, the costs of legal assistance and payment or reimbursement thereof will be discussed.

STEP 2: Negotiaton phase

We seek contact with the other partner in writing or in person. If possible, we begin the consultation. The goal is to find a solution together. If this succeeds, then the agreements are written down in an agreement. By making agreements, we avoid lengthy, expensive procedures.

STEP 3: Going to court

Not able to work it out together? Then, with your permission, the lawyer will start legal proceedings.

STEP 4: The hearing

After each party has submitted its position to the court, the court schedules a hearing. You prepare the hearing with your lawyer and go to the courthouse together. During the hearing, attempts are often made to resolve the dispute between the parties. The judge typically nudges parties in the right direction. The agreements made are recorded in writing by the judge. If this approach does not work, the judge will make a ruling.

STEP 5: Court ruling

The judge makes a decision and this ruling is executed.

STEP 6: Making an appeal?

Is it necessary or possible to challenge the ruling? If so, this means that the lawyer will submit an appeal against the decision of the court.

What can I do myself?

When someone close to you dies, you will need to find out if you are an heir. If there is a will, it will be specified there.

This is how you can view a will:

1. Get a copy of the death certificate. This can be requested from the funeral home. Is that not possible? Then request the certificate from the municipality where the deceased most recently lived.

2. Inquire at the Central Register of Wills (in Dutch: Centraal Testamentenregister) if the deceased had registered a will.

3. Are there one or more wills? If so, then ask for a copy of the most recent will from the notary who drew it up. If the notary no longer exists, you can contact his successor. Consult the successor archive (in Dutch: opvolgersarchief) via the website www.notaris.nl. Some notaries will charge for a copy of a testament or part of one. Whether or not you are entitled to a copy depends on what is specified in the will.

What needs to be arranged?

Where do I begin? How do I obtain information about the inheritance? What are my rights and obligations?

The inheritance needs to be settled. Is there a will? This typically states how and by whom this should be done. Often an executor is appointed. This might be you, it might be someone else. There may be disagreement about how the executor should handle the inheritance. Your lawyer can hold the executor accountable. If you believe that the executor is doing a poor job, your lawyer can submit a request to a judge to dismiss the executor. A request can then be submitted to appoint someone else. Are you the executor? A lawyer can advise on the tasks of an executor. Or put forward a defense if there is a request to have you dismissed.

What if there is no will? Then the inheritance must be settled by the heirs themselves. In most cases, one person takes on this responsibility. If this person does not share enough information with the other heirs, a lawyer can hold him or her accountable. Your lawyer can also help you to get access to the information you need.

If you and the other heirs are unable to distribute the estate, then your lawyer can assist by consulting a judge. For example, your lawyer can ask the judge how the inheritance should be distributed.

The advantages

Sometimes an independent judgment is needed, for example, when a highly important matter or fundamental principles are concerned. Only once a judge has clarified this can the parties proceed. Perhaps you have made various efforts to talk, but are unable to resolve the dispute. Or maybe the other party is not open to trying consultation in the first place. A judge can offer a solution by taking a final decision. The lawyer representing you is only there to protect your interests.

Tips

1. Consider each other's feeling. When a loved one dies, everyone is emotional and sensitive. Try to avoid arguments. Do you feel yourself getting angry? Take a break. It will be difficult to arrange an inheritance while arguing.

2. Relationships between stepparents and stepchildren are complicated. A surviving partner, a stepparent, will often inherit everything for the time being. Because of this, the stepparents and stepchildren continue to have a connection that may last a long time. This may not be desirable. Discuss the options with our consultation attorney.

3. When a brother or sister has been appointed as executor, problems often arise. The position of this brother or sister within the family suddenly changes. Prevent such changes from becoming problematic and contact us early in the process.

What can I prepare?

Request the ‘Uiteen Inheritance Package’. For further information and tips about what you can prepare ahead of time.

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Want to know more?

Do you want to know more about your specific situation?

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Contact?

You can reach Uiteen from Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Outside of office hours? Schedule a callback request

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