When do I need a certificate of succession?

A certificate of succession names the heirs. Heirs can use it to prove they are entitled to a deceased person’s bank balance. The bank will explain when you need a certificate of succession.

Certificates of succession drawn up by notaries

Certificates of succession are drawn up by notaries. Everyone can ask a notary to issue a certificate of succession.

Checks before a certificate of succession is issued

A notary will carry out certain checks before issuing a certificate of succession. They will check, for example, the Register of Births, Deaths, Marriages and Registered Partners and the Central Register of Wills in order to identify all the heirs and verify the will.

If there are a lot of heirs or if they are difficult to find, it can take several weeks or months before the notary issues the certificate of succession.

Register the certificate of succession with the Land Registry

If you inherit a house, land or a boat, ask the notary to register the certificate of succession with the Land Registry (Kadaster). The deceased person will continue to be registered as the owner of the estate until the certificate of succession is registered with the Land Registry and you are recognised as the owner. This is important for property tax, energy performance certificate and life insurance purposes, for instance.