Selling or bequeathing your home.

If you plan the sale or change of ownership of your home ahead of time, you can lower your tax bill. It’s never too early to think about living arrangements in your old age, or your will in the event of your death.

Most property owners have invested the majority of their assets in their house or apartment. If one partner dies, this can lead to financial difficulties for the remaining spouse if other heirs have to be paid. Matrimonial property and inheritance arrangements can prevent this situation from occurring.

The most common matrimonial property regime within marriage is joint ownership of property acquired during marriage. For example, in the event of the husband’s death, assets are divided as follows:

Allocation of assets under property and inheritance law
Allocation of assets under property and inheritance law Husband’s marital property Wife’s marital property Wife’s own assets
  • Inheritances
  • Personal belongings
  • Assets acquired before marriage

Income during marriage

Income from assets

  • Inheritances
  • Personal belongings
  • Prenuptial assets

Estate

(own assets + ½ share of marital property)

Wife's entitlement under marital property law

(own assets + ½ share of marital property)

In the event of a spouse’s death, children are entitled to half the estate (own assets + ½ share of marital property). Paying this out can pose problems for the surviving spouse, as the bulk of assets are invested in the home.

If permitted under the current lending arrangements, the mortgage may be increased, though this will result in higher interest payments. The other alternative would be to sell the property.

A nuptial and/or inheritance agreement can ensure that the entire marital property passes to the surviving spouse in the event of their partner’s death. If you are interested in making matrimonial property and inheritance arrangements, we recommend that you contact a notary or lawyer.

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