Filing a declaration of inheritance or of transfer on death

Following the death of a person whose last domicile was in Luxembourg, heirs and legatees must file a declaration of inheritance with the Indirect Tax Authority (Administration de l’enregistrement et des domaines – AED).

This declaration is used as the basis for determining the inheritance taxes to be paid. In this document, it is necessary to mention and describe in detail the nature and value of movable and immovable assets affected by the inheritance as well as any debts constituting the inherited liabilities. When the inheritance is exempt from inheritance tax, less information will need to be provided.

Heirs or legatees of a person whose last domicile was not in Luxembourg but who owned immovable property in the Grand Duchy must also file this declaration. They must also submit a declaration to the AED describing the nature of the properties, where they are located, their area in square metres and their value as well as any debts relating to the properties. These debts are deductible for tax purposes in accordance with legislation in force since 31 December 2009.

This declaration is used as the basis for determining the transfer taxes to be paid.

Who is concerned

Heirs and legatees are required to file a declaration of inheritance if the deceased was domiciled in Luxembourg at the time of death or if the deceased owned immovable property in Luxembourg without being domiciled in the country, regardless of the amount of the inheritance and even if no tax is due.

Prerequisites

Heirs may first verify whether or not the deceased left a will. The existence or non-existence of a written will determines the procedures for the declaration to be filed in all cases.

Whether or not the heirs are aware of the existence of a will, they may request a will search with the AED in its registry of last wills and testaments. A will search requires payment of a fee of EUR 9.92.

Deadlines

Declarations must be filed in writing no later than 6 months after the deceased's date of death if the individual died in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Longer periods apply if the individual died abroad (8 months in case of death in another European country, 12 months in case of death in the Americas and 24 months in case of death in Africa, Asia or Australia).

Costs

There is no set form for the declaration of inheritance or of transfer on death. The declaration must therefore be drawn up on paper bearing a revenue stamp whose cost varies depending on the size of the paper (the minimum cost for this revenue stamp is EUR 2). The request may also be written on plain paper and, in this case, a separate revenue stamp is attached. These expenses are added to those incurred for the will search.

When a notary’s assistance is requested to prepare the declaration, fees are payable to the notary, with their amount depending on the complexity of the case.

Requesting the assistance of a notary is not compulsory, but is highly recommended, especially for an inheritance involving complex issues.

How to proceed

Writing the declaration

Since there is no set form for the submission of a declaration of inheritance and of transfer on death, the declaration is admissible provided it contains all of the information required by law. For further information on the writing of the declaration, heirs or legatees can contact an office of the AED or seek assistance from a notary.

Declaration relating to inheritance if the deceased was domiciled in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg

In all cases, the declaration of inheritance must be submitted in writing to the competent office of the AED. The competent office is the one with jurisdiction for the deceased’s place of domicile in the Grand Duchy. It is therefore not possible to submit the declaration to the office of one’s choice.

For assistance in preparing the declaration of inheritance, heirs and universal legatees may contact a notary of their choice.

The following documents may be required to prepare the declaration of inheritance:

  • the original identity card(s) or passport(s) of the declarant(s);
  • the original death certificate of the deceased and the latter's personal details (surname, given name(s), profession) and the relationship (father, spouse, etc.) between the deceased and the declarants/heirs;
  • the original land registry extract mentioning the designation of the property used as the deceased’s main residence, even if the deceased was not the owner (in this case, the land registry extract will mention, ‘None’). The original of the land registry extract mentions the properties owned by the deceased in Luxembourg;
  • in the case of the death of a spouse: a certified authentic copy of the marriage contract (if such a contract exists).

Information that must be included in the declaration of inheritance

The information to be included in the declaration of inheritance will be different depending on whether or not the items of property in the declaration are subject to inheritance tax.

Inheritance subject to inheritance tax

When the inheritance is subject to inheritance tax, the declaration must include a list identifying all of the deceased’s assets and liabilities, with their amounts. The declaration must therefore contain the following elements of information:

  • the nature of the assets owned by the deceased (immovable or movable property, shares, bonds, bank accounts, works of art, cars, etc.) and their values. The AED may make adjustments to the values of the assets listed by the declarant;
  • for immovable property owned by the deceased, the nature of the properties, the commune where they are located, their address in this commune and an indication of their area in square metres for non-built properties (the original of the land registry extract mentioning the designation of the properties owned in Luxembourg by the deceased must be attached to the declaration);
  • for receivables, i.e. any payments due to the deceased from other persons, their amount along with the title, name, profession and domicile of the person in debt to the deceased;
  • the deceased’s outstanding debts. These may be a debt owed to a bank which had granted a loan to the deceased, a debt for the purchase of an asset, such as a car, a tax liability such as income tax still owed by the deceased, land tax owed by the deceased for real property assets, funerary expenses, utility payments due at the date of death (water, gas, electricity, etc.);
  • if the deceased held certain assets in usufruct, the description of such assets, mentioning that the usufruct came to an end at the time of death.

The following also need to be included in the declaration of inheritance:

  • the names of the heirs, legatees and donees;
  • their relationships to the deceased and the portion of the inheritance to be received by each.

In cases where the inheritance is to be received, in full or in part, pursuant to a will, the declaration must state which descendants are called to inherit as legal heirs. However, this information will not be necessary when the entirety of the inheritance is subject to inheritance tax at the minimum rate of 15 %. The 15 % rate applies if the heirs or legatees are very distantly related, or not at all related, to the deceased.

Inheritance not subject to inheritance tax

When the inheritance does not require the payment of any inheritance tax (direct line succession or when the estate is less than the taxable minimum of EUR 1,250), the declaration need only indicate the names of the heirs and the description of the properties located in the Grand Duchy to be inherited.

Declaration relating to properties located in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, owned by a deceased person not domiciled in the country at the time of death

When a deceased person who was not domiciled in Luxembourg at the time of death leaves immovable property situated in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg to heirs or legatees, the latter must submit a declaration to the competent office of the AED stating the nature of these properties, where they are located, their area in square metres and their value as well as the debts guaranteed by the properties and any debts contracted for their acquisition, improvement or conservation.

The competent office for transfer taxes on these properties is the one with jurisdiction for the place where the properties are located.

In such circumstances, declarants may wish to request the assistance of a notary of their choice for the filing of the declaration.

The declaration must include the values of the assets and liabilities relating to properties situated in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg owned by the deceased. As such, the following information must be provided:

  • the value of the properties owned by the deceased. The AED may make adjustments to the values of the assets listed by the declarant;
  • the commune where the properties are located, the nature of the properties, their address in this commune and an indication of their area in square metres for non-built properties (the original of the land registry extract mentioning the designation of the properties owned in Luxembourg by the deceased must be attached to the declaration);
  • any debts relating to the properties (debts guaranteed by the properties, debts contracted for their acquisition, improvement or conservation);
  • the names of the heirs or legatees, their relationships to the deceased and the portion of the inheritance to be received by each.

In addition, the declarants must ensure that the following documents are in their possession:

  • the original identity card(s) or passport(s) of the heir(s);
  • the original death certificate of the deceased and the latter's personal details (surname, given name(s), profession) and the relationship (father, spouse, etc.) between the deceased and the heirs;
  • the original of the land registry extract mentioning the properties owned in Luxembourg by the deceased;
  • in the case of the death of a spouse: a certified authentic copy of the marriage contract (if such a contract exists).

Who to contact

Double click to activate the map
Last update