Filing a declaration of inheritance or transfer on death

Last update 06.11.2019

Following the death of a person whose last domicile was in Luxembourg, heirs and legatees must file a declaration of inheritance with the Registration Duties, Estates and VAT Authority (Administration de l'enregistrement, des domaines et de la TVA – AED).

This declaration is used as the basis for determining the inheritance taxes to be paid. It describes 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 with regard to these buildings. This declaration serves as the basis for determining the duties on transfer on death to be paid for buildings in Luxembourg.

Who is concerned

The heirs and universal legatees of a deceased person who had his last domicile in Luxembourg.

The heirs, all legatees and donators of a deceased person who owned buildings located in Luxembourg.

Prerequisites

Heirs may first verify whether or not the deceased left a will. The existence of a written will has an impact on the declaration of succession.

Heirs can request a will search in the register of last will and testamentary dispositions from the AED. 

Anyone who requests a will search must pay a tax of:

  • EUR 10 if the request is made electronically;
  • EUR 20 if the request is made using the application form in paper format.

Deadlines

The declaration must be submitted in writing within 6 months of the person's death if the death occurred in Luxembourg.

Longer time limits are provided for in the event of death abroad:

  • 8 months in case of death in another european country;
  • 12 months in case of death in the Americas;
  • 24 months in case of death in Africa, Asia or Australia.

Costs

The declaration can be written on:

  • stamped paper: the cost of this depends on the size of the paper (the minimum stamp duty is EUR 2), or;
  • loose paper - in this case, an adhesive stamp is applied.

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.

The involvement of a notary in the drafting of the declaration is not mandatory, but it is strongly recommended, especially in the case of a complex succession.

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 for the succession of a person who had their domicile in Luxembourg

Submission of the declaration

The succession declaration must be submitted in writing to the relevant AED office. The competent office is that of the deceased's last domicile in Luxembourg.

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

The declaration must include the list and the amount of the deceased's assets and liabilities and must mention:

  • the identity of the deceased, his last domicile, as well as the place and date of death;
  • the surnames, first names, capacities and domiciles of the heirs, legatees and donees;
  • their relationships to the deceased and the portion of the inheritance to be received by each.
  • a choice of domicile;
  • the nature of the assets: immovable or movable property, shares, bonds, bank accounts, works of art, cars, etc.;
  • the value of the assets owned by the deceased. The AED may make adjustments to the values of the assets listed by the declarant;
  • for buildings that are the property of the deceased:
    • their nature;
    • the municipality in which they are located;
    • their address;
    • the indication of the surface area for undeveloped properties;
  • for claims, i.e. amounts due to the deceased by other persons:
    • the amount with the title;
    • the name, profession and domicile of the person who owes a debt to the deceased;
  • the deceased’s outstanding debts, such as:
    • debts towards a bank that granted a loan to the deceased;
    • debt for the purchase of a good (a car, etc.);
    • tax debt: the tax that remains to be paid on the deceased's income or the property tax due by the deceased on his or her real estate properties;
    • funeral costs;
    • debts due on the day of death for everyday supplies (water, gas, electricity, etc.);
  • if the deceased had the beneficial ownership of certain assets: the description of these properties with an indication of those that have been granted full ownership;
  • an indication whether the deceased had received property from his father and mother on condition that it be transmitted to his descendants (vesting in trust).
If the estate is inherited on the basis of a will, the declaration must state the 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 %.
Inheritance not subject to inheritance tax

In this case, the declaration should only indicate:

  • the heirs' names;
  • the details of any buildings located in Luxembourg that they will inherit (the termination of beneficial ownership must always be declared).

Supporting documents

The declarant(s)must attach the following to the declaration:

  • the original of their ID card or passport;
  • 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 of the cadastral extract dating back to a maximum of one year: it designates:
    • the building used as the deceased's principal residence, even if he or she did not own it. In the latter case, "nil" will be mentioned on the cadastral extract;
    • any properties held in Luxembourg by the deceased;
  • in the event of the death of a spouse: a certified authentic copy of the marriage contract (if such a contract exists).
  • evidence of liabilities.

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

Submission of the declaration

The heirs, all legatees and donators of buildings located in Luxembourg must provide the competent office of the AED with a declaration detailing the Luxembourg real estate assets and debts relating to these buildings.

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

The declaration must mention:

  • the identity of the deceased, his last domicile, as well as the place and date of death;
  • the names of the heirs or legatees, their relationships to the deceased and the portion of the inheritance to be received by each.
  • a choice of domicile;
  • the nature of the assets :
  • their location - indication of the municipality and address;
  • their surface area if it is an undeveloped property such as land;
  • their value - the AED may make adjustments to the values of the assets listed by the declarant;
  • any debts secured by these buildings;
  • debts incurred for the acquisition, improvement or conservation of these assets.

If the estate is inherited on the basis of a will, the declaration must state the legal heirs. However, this information will not be necessary when the entire estate is subject to the maximum death transfer tax rate.

Supporting documents

The declarant(s) must carry the following documents:

  • 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 register extract, dating back a maximum of one year, mentioning the designation of the properties held in Luxembourg by the deceased;
  • in the event of the death of a spouse: a certified authentic copy of the marriage contract (if such a contract exists).
  • evidence of liabilities.

Who to contact

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