The Belgian civil code has three forms of Wills.

A notarized Will is a Will you “dictate” to a notary who writes it up as you dictate it, even in English. The days of handwrotten Wills are long gone ; notaries use word processors.

The international Will is a Will set down in a typed or handwritten document presented to the notary. The international Will is based on the Washington Convention of 26 October 1973 providing an International Will. The notary will not read the Will; he will just keep the Will with other notarial deeds.

These two forms of “Will” are witnessed by two witnesses.

The handwritten Will is the easiest and cheapest way of drafting a Will. To be valid, it must be completely written out in longhand, dated and signed. It does not need to be witnessed.

You do not need to have Belgian nationality to draft a Will in one of these forms in Belgium.

Any Will can always be modified by a later Will, whatever the form. E.g. a notarized Will can be revoked by a handwritten Will.

The existence of a notarized Will or an international testament is recorded with the Central Register of Wills, and so are any marriage contracts or changes to the marriage contract that have an impact on the inheritance rules. Upon death, a simple search in the register will give a list of all recorded Wills and marriage contracts.