The notary is the competent authority in the Netherlands with respect to inheritance law.
The parties are free to choose a notary, irrespective of the last place of residence of the deceased. In various cases several heirs have their own lawyer to protect the interests of their clients.
A Dutch notary must be impartial, even if one of the heirs is evidently wrong in his opinion about handling the estate.
If the matter can’t be solved at the notary or between parties, the lawyer can bring the matter forward to court.
The heir has three options.
If the heir wishes simply to accept the inheritance, he or she can do so, implicitly or explicitly, without specific formalities. The consequence of acceptance of the inheritance is that the heir has unlimited personal liability for the debts of the estate.
However, the heir can limit his/her liability by explicitly accepting the inheritance on condition that the debts of the estate do not exceed the entitlement. If the heir wishes to waive the inheritance or accepts it on condition that the charges do not exceed the entitlement, he or she must submit a declaration to the court. In this last case, the court sets a time limit for acceptance of the inheritance.
Legacies can be accepted or refused without specific formalities. Under Dutch law, limited acceptance is not possible for legacies.
A statutory heir can waive his or her right to the reserved share simply by not claiming it. The law does not provide for specific declarations for this purpose. If statutory heirs waive their reserved share, it is possible to set this down in a declaration.