When parents inherit from their child(ren)

A death is always an emotional event, especially when it concerns your child. If your child does not have a partner and leaves no children behind, you as parent(s) inherit with any other children. If your child does not have a will, statutory inheritance law applies.

Heirs can be divided into 4 groups

  • 1st group: spouse, registered partner and children
  • 2nd group: parents, (half) brothers and (half) sisters
  • 3rd and 4th groups: grandparents and great-grandparents

If there is no one in the 1st group, it is checked whether there are any heirs in the next group.

Pay attention to space filling

A child can inherit if, for example, his/her mother had previously died. Then the child (i.e. the niece or nephew of the deceased) takes the inheritance place of the already deceased mother (i.e. the sister of the deceased).

Main rule of statutory inheritance law

Within the group of heirs, the main rule is that everyone inherits for equal shares. In the 2nd group there are additional conditions:

  • Parents each inherit at least ¼ of the inheritance
  • Half brothers and half sisters inherit half of what a full brother and sister inherits.
  • If there are no full brothers or sisters, the half-brothers and half-sisters inherit half of what a parent inherits.

Exemption from inheritance law

The exemption in the new Inheritance Act (2010) is 45,000. If you inherit as both parents, the amount is seen as one inheritance. This is then merged. The caveat is that the parents must be married (or equivalent). The exemption of 45,000 only applies here once. Brothers and sisters have an exemption of 2,000.

Rate group 2

Parents, brothers and sisters fall into rate group 2 in the new inheritance tax (which came into effect on January 1, 2010) with regard to the inheritance tax rate. The first 118,000 is taxed with 30% inheritance tax, the excess with 40%.


By drawing up a will you can deviate from statutory inheritance law. You can also disinherit your parents, brothers and/or sisters in a will.