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The most important limitation imposed under Belgian law is that there are some people you cannot disinherit.  The “forced heirship rules” protect children, spouses and parents. A part of your estate is reserved for these protected heirs; you must ensure that they get the share of your estate that is set aside for them by law (this is called the “reserve”). You can only freely dispose - by gift or by Will - of the “disposable part of your estate”, that is the part that is not reserved for these protected heirs.

If you have one child, he/she must receive half of your estate; if you have two children: two thirds i.e. a third each; and if you have three or more children, it is three quarters.

This share is calculated on the estate that you have at the end of your life, plus anything you have given away during your lifetime, even a long time ago.

There are plans to limit the forced heirship rules to fifty percent for the children.