What's the use of a notary?
The role of the notary is to facilitate the signing of a valid and effective legal act that gives each party what is due to him. Although a notary is a liberal profession, he is a public official in Belgium.
In the case of a succession, the notary will, among other things, help you to complete administrative formalities in order to prepare the succession. He will also be responsible for drawing up the inventory of the deceased's estate: the valuation of the assets and the debts to be settled.
If the deceased has appointed a notary as executor, the latter will be in charge of executing the deceased's last wishes.
It is possible to use several notaries to process a legal act (e.g. an inheritance). However, all notaries are subject to the principle of impartiality: they cannot represent your interests or take sides against a third party when drawing up a deed of inheritance.
What are the notary fees for an succession?
In Belgium, the cost of a notarial deed for an estate varies according to several criteria. You have to take into account :
- Registration fees, a tax that varies according to the type of inheritance and the region of residence.
- The notary's fees, which are regulated by a royal decree.
- The cost of the research and administrative formalities that the notary must undertake to liquidate the estate. Depending on the difficulty of liquidating the estate, this cost may be more or less significant.
In order to best estimate the costs to be incurred for an estate, talk to your notary before he or she takes the steps.
In addition to these notary fees, you will have to pay estate taxes, the rates of which vary according to your region and tax brackets. The website notaire.be provides the inheritance tax rates.
How to choose a notary?
To deal with an estate, you are free to choose the notary of your choice, even if the deceased had appointed a notary before his or her death. As the notary's fees are regulated by law, the cost of a deed does not count towards the choice of a notary.
You should therefore choose a notary whom you trust and whose skills are recognised. Geographical proximity is also an asset.