Estate Planning

Estate Planning is, in short, the tax and legal optimisation of the transfer of your assets during your lifetime or upon death. Estate Planning can relate to both your business assets and your private assets, located both in the Netherlands and abroad. The fiscal and legal design of your prenuptial agreement, partnership agreement or cohabitation agreement is also part of your Estate Planning, as is the (fiscal) settlement of an unexpected divorce.

Why should I consider Estate Planning?

Estate planning often gets little to no consideration because generally people do not like to think about the possibility of a divorce or their death. By organising your Estate Planning, you ensure that financial and legal matters around your assets are properly regulated in the future. For yourself and for future inheritors. This can give you, and your inheritors, peace of mind. Organising your Estate Planning contributes to the preservation of your family’s capital, as for the next generations.

When is the right moment to be advised on Estate Planning?

Needless to say, major life events such as marriage, having children, illness or death and emigration are moments to reflect on your Estate Planning. At an earlier stage when significant changes in the size or composition of your assets occur, such as restructuring your business assets, you should have your Estate Planning reviewed. The specialists at HVK Stevens can review whether your estate planning is still optimally designed from a tax and legal perspective and whether it still meets your current wishes.

Benefits of Estate Planning

By organising your Estate Planning, you can achieve the following benefits for yourself, your partner and your inheritors (OF: heirs):

Wealth transfer during your lifetime – gifting

By transferring assets to the next generation(s) during your lifetime, you can save gift tax and inheritance tax by making optimal use of exemptions and tariff progression. Besides the fact that the assets are already growing by the next generation. The growth of this capital will once again save gift and inheritance tax, but possibly income tax on a substantial shareholding claim of your company as well.

Transfer of assets upon death – will

Assets that are not distributed on the basis of the prenuptial agreement, partnership agreement or cohabitation agreement and that you have not already transferred in life, will be part of your estate. If at the time of your death you are considered a tax resident of the Netherlands, your estate will in principle be subject to Dutch inheritance tax. In a will, you can determine to whom this capital should accrue. You can also include certain conditions so that assets remain within the family and conditions are attached to the use of these assets. You and your partners will can also significantly save on inheritance tax, by designing the will in such a way that the assets of the surviving spouse are fiscally eroded and inheritance tax is saved over two deaths (of you and your partner). If you are interested, we can outline these possibilities for you.

Prenuptial agreements, partnership agreements and cohabitation agreements

If you get married, enter into a registered partnership or start living together, you can make arrangements in a prenuptial agreement, a partnership agreement and also in a cohabitation agreement about, among other things, joint assets, settlement of income and assets and costs of household. These agreements can have major consequences for your (family) assets and for your business. We are able to advise you fiscally and legally on the content and by doing so we help you optimise your prenuptial agreement, partnership agreement and/or cohabitation contract. We outline the various possibilities of, among others, limited and general matrimonial property regimes and final and periodic settlement clauses. The provisions in the prenuptial agreement, partnership agreement or cohabitation agreement are relevant in the event of a divorce but also in the event of your or your partner’s death. These provisions determine the calculation of the size of your ultimate estate. With the right set-up, inheritance tax can be saved. In the case of blended families, where you do not want to disadvantage your children but do want to leave your current partner well looked after, the prenuptial agreement is particularly relevant. The prenuptial agreement also affects the size of the legitimate portion of your children.

Even during your marriage, partnership or cohabitation you can always adjust these provisions and optimise them fiscally and legally. After a restructuring, it is important to ensure that your prenuptial agreement matches your corporate structure and other assets. This is among other thigs, relevant to the application of the fiscal business succession facilities.

Why HVK Stevens?

HVK Stevens understands that your Estate Planning is a delicate subject where many difficult choices have to be made and emotions are involved. We outline the possibilities and provide insight into the legal and fiscal consequences of your choices, in order for you to make well-informed decisions. With an eye for family relationships, we guide you through the steps to be taken and the choices to be made. Your specific wishes are key to this. We do not lose sight of the fact that our advice must also be robust, explainable and workable for your heirs. HVK Stevens has thorough tax and notarial knowledge and extensive experience in national and international estate planning. Thereby, HVK Stevens is experienced in asset protection, privacy structures and advising companies. All combined we look beyond your estate planning and advise you on the entire scope.

Based on your specific wishes

In addition to fiscal and legal optimisation, we focus on your personal wishes, such as keeping family assets together, maintaining control over assets after a transfer, ensuring that the assets remain in the direct family (excluding “in-laws”). For example, we can build in the possibility of revoking a gift if you so desire.

By arranging your Estate Planning properly during your lifetime, your children can already benefit from the family assets and learn how to deal with this responsibly.

HVK Stevens - Logo

What can HVK Stevens do for my estate planning?

Because of our multidisciplinary teams, our Estate Planning services include tax and legal advice, as well as the notarial implementation of this advice and the annual maintenance and compliance obligations such as tax returns. We also regularly work together with other professionals, such as your private banker, divorce lawyer, in-house notary or lawyer, tax consultant or family office.

Activities we can be of service to you, include:

  • Tax and legal advice on the content and optimisation of prenuptial agreements, partnership agreements and cohabitation contractsincluding on limited and general communities, final and periodic settlement clauses, whether or not with unequal fractions.
  • Tax assistance in complex divorce cases (often involving substantial business assets) in cooperation with reputable divorce lawyers.)
  • Advice on the financial equal treatment of children from different marriages and blended families, as well as on leaving the surviving (step) parent in good care.
  • Issues surrounding the legitimate portions of children and the possibilities of limiting this claim.
  • Wealth transfer during life through gifts (gift plan) or children participation in investment or business assets, including the various conditions such as separation of control and (beneficial) ownership, exclusion clauses, revocability and two-stage payments (fideï-commis de residuo).
  • Donations under guilty acknowledgement (so-called “donations on paper“).
  • Setting up one’s own charitable institution (PBO) in life or by will for bequeathing family assets to PBOs.


  • To “rule over your grave” by, for example, an administrative office foundation, family foundation such as a private fund foundation, trust or conditions such as exclusion clauses and two-stage liquidation as well as establishing restrictions on to what extent (the fruits) of the assets can be spent.
  • Tax and legal advice and assistance in the execution of business succession (in whole or in part, during life or by inheritance).
  • Organisation of family governance.
  • Asset protection and keeping the family assets together, for example, by means of an administrative office foundation, family foundation such as a private fund or a trust.
  • International estate planning (avoidance of double taxation, application of treaties, emigrations, residence discussions with the tax authorities, legal settlement).
  • The design and drafting of a family status.
  • Advising on and drafting living wills.
  • Tax and legal advice on the content of wills and the possibilities of saving future inheritance tax, including on generation-skipping, quasi legal distribution, erosion of the estate of the surviving partner, usufruct / blood ownership and protection clauses (such as exclusion clauses, two-stage makeovers and exclusion of parental rights in the event of divorce of yourself or (future) heirs).
  • Negotiations, coordination and dispute resolution with the Dutch Tax Authorities concerning business succession processes, (r)emigrations, separated private assets and tax residency provisions.
  • The fiscal settlement of estates, including the preparation of income tax returns (F-bill) and inheritance tax returns.
  • Executorships through the ‘Stichting HVK Executele’.
HVK Stevens - Logo

For more information, please contact:

HVK Stevens Logo

HVK Stevens professionals have legal, tax and financial knowledge and experience

HVK Stevens logo


HVK Stevens
Prins Bernhardplein 200
1097 JB Amsterdam
+31 (0)20 76 30 900


HVK Stevens Rotterdam
Westerkade 2B
3016 CL Rotterdam
+31 (0)10 476 88 33


HVK Stevens
4, Avenue Jean-Pierre Pescatore,
L-2324 Luxemburg,
Grand Duchy of Luxembourg


HVK Stevens
Landhuis Joonchi Kaya Richard
3014 Beaujon Willemstad


HVK Stevens
Aldgate Tower
2 Leman Street, E1 8FA