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What is the distribution of an inheritance like?

The law determines who inherits. So depending on your marital status and family situation, the answer to this question is different.

Usually, the spouse or legal cohabitant of the deceased and his blood relatives inherit. The blood relatives are divided into four categories, referred to as orders of inheritance:

  • first erforde: children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren of the deceased
  • second erphora: parents, (half) brothers and sisters of the deceased and their children
  • third erforde: grandparents and great-grandparents of the deceased, and also the parents of the deceased if he has no (half)brothers or sisters
  • fourth erforde: uncles, aunts, cousins and nieces of the deceased.

To determine who inherits from all these people, two rules actually apply:

  • The representatives of a given erforde inherit only if there is no one left in the previous erforde. Specifically, therefore, a nonkel (fourth order) will not inherit if the deceased has a child (first order).
  • Within each erforde, an order is established based on the degree of kinship with the deceased. The closest in degree excludes the further in degree. Specifically, if the deceased bequeaths, say, a child and a grandchild who both belong to the first erforde, the child will inherit and the grandchild will not.

Do I need a lawyer to distribute an inheritance?

A lawyer has the necessary knowledge and experience to answer your questions about who qualifies for your inheritance. A lawyer can also advise you on what to do if you want to exclude certain people from your inheritance or give others who do not normally inherit a piece of your estate. He or she can give you tailored advice based on your specific wishes and situation, obviously in a confidential atmosphere.

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