Van Elder & Associates
Avocats, Attorneys at law, Advocaten

Property, family and inheritance law

The big steps in life are usually the cohabitation, the marriage, having a child, recomposing a family but also the decease, sickness, professional experiences and their implicaitons on the property of our clients and their family are narrowly connected.

It is the reason why GAETAN VAN ELDER & ASSOCIATES treats these subjects in the dynamic perspective of the life cycle, its joys, the realizations but also the difficulties in order to optimize, secure and facilitate, the acquisition, detention and transfer of movable and immovable property including the professional, of its clients.

Gaetan Van Elder & Associates  assists and advises his clients in every big step of their life and their closest on the legal personal and patrimonial consequences of the choices they have and the tests they have to deal with.

Gaetan Van Elder & Associates advises his clients in the Belgian and foreign tools and vehicles to use in the context of the transfer of a simple property or more complex (companies, collections of art, financial values, funds, intellectual properties, exception properties, …).

Next to the technical aspects, GAETAN VAN ELDER & ASSOCIATES pays a capital attention to the human dimension of the tranferor or the beneficiary and the directly or indirectly implied people (spouses, boy- or girlfriends, cohabitant, grandfather, associate, key men of company, children not active in the company, children of a previous relationship) which is an essential element of succeeded planning.

He tries to give a tailor-made response adjusted to the personality, the knowledge and the aspirations of his clients and their environment, taking into account the taxation connected to their income and the used vehicles and structures.

He responds to the aspirations of directors to succeed in the transfer of their company (progressive or not, with or without keeping control or income) by the using of the vehicles and instruments sometimes simple, sometimes more elaborate.

He assists Belgian and foreign senior managers, CEO’s, CFO’s, COO’s, high officials in the planning of their assets (contracts of group insurance, shares, stock options, management companies).

He assists clients in the context of the implementation of protection tools and management of rights, revenues and property of children, spoises or fragile family members (put under  provisional administration, stipulation of charges, constitution of foundation or trust..) and the steps to take at the Courts (Judge of the Peace and  lower court).

GAETAN VAN ELDER & ASSOCIATES assists his clients in inheritance rights for the legal and fiscal aspects in the planning and implementation and the opening of the inheritance, the management, the liquidation and the distribution ensuring the optimal application of the planning.

The content and the extent of the inheritance right varie from heir to another (the usufructuaries have the right to occupy the goods and have the income, the bare owners have a different property right and are held for the charges and debts of the inheritance) which provides inherent antagonistic perspectives.

They also varie from one country to another. The European regulation 650/2012 facilitates the planning and managing of the international inheritance.

These rights are particularly strong offering to anyone the possibility to question the acts of the deceased by the living in certain circonstance (report, reduction, revocation) and to damage the continuity of the company or the management of the property, or to force the split-up security portfolio, of a family property, collection of art.

Gaetan Van Elder & Associates informs and proposes solution with the goal of preventing these consequences.

The knowledge and the practice of the corporate law and the business law gives in the treatment of the files a real added value on the one hand because the professional companies, management or patrimonial companies generally are a part of the inheritance of his clients, on the other hand because the use and implementation of certain corporate Belgian or foreign structures (foundations, closed companies, SCA, company incorporated in ordinary law, trust, certification, insurance company branch 21 and 23, SPF,…) are particulary recommended in the context of these plannings.

The structuration of the managing bodies and the agreements between family shareholders and family charters are also excellent stabilization tools in a family framework which is often moving and complexe (because of a diversity of generations, active and non-active children, children of a preceding marriage, shareholders with different visions).

GAETAN VAN ELDER & ASSOCIATES  assist his clients during the opening of an inheritance for the preliminary steps to take until the accepation of the inheritance and enlightens them for the consquences (civil and fiscal) of the capital decisions they have to take and the formalities to execute on a civil and tax level.

The firm advises his clients from the opening of the inheritance in the context of the liquidation, distribution and finally until the management of the inherited goods.

GAETAN VAN ELDER & ASSOCIATES  proposes to his clients to optimize the fiscal consequences during the declaration and following formalities to fulfil. He assists his clients in case of contestations with the tax administration in particular de the devolution of the inheritance, the value and the share of the taxable goods, the applicability of ordinary and preferential tariffs,…

Gaetan Van Elder & Associates possesses a deep knowledge in international private and tax law which allows him to apprehend the main civil and fiscal consequence by the use of his international network in case of a cross-border succession.

On a tax level, Belgium only signed two conventions preventing a double taxation in case of inheritance with France and Sweden. Thus, there is a total absence of fiscal harmonization on an international level for this subject whereas the connecting criteria of the member states are numerous and varie generally from triple to quadruple taxation  (Estate tax, stamp duty, transfer tax…).
These risks are even more accentuated by the wordly and automatic exchange of information on foreign property of taxpayers concerning 95 states and agreements of which FATCA.

GAETAN VAN ELDER & ASSOCIATES is particularly aware of this and advises his clients to anticipate these issues.

In this context, GAETAN VAN ELDER & ASSOCIATES  assists also his clients in the drafting contracts and the carrying out of the following formalities :

*  Union : marriage or cohabitation contract and realization of the formalities Disunion: conventions of separation, divorce, division and honor
    • Death : drafting of estate and transition declaration;
    • Preparing and making a strategy for the inheritance both amicable and judicial, in front of civil and fiscal tribunals (inventory, sealing, conferring of accounts,  revokation, annulation or reduction of the gift or distribution…).
    • Putting into place tools of protection and control of the rights, revenues and patrimony of children, husband or spouse, or fragiled relatives (put under judicial sequestration, assessment of charges, constitution of a foundation or trust) and the steps to take at the Tribunals (Justice of Peace, Tribunal of First Instance and Family Tribunal) .  

* Donations (notarial, manual or indirect), testaments (holographic, authentic or international), insurance contract, tontine, accretion clause, life-lease agreement.

GAETAN VAN ELDER & ASSOCIATES  also has a strong expertise in the management and strategy of inheritance procedures aimable and judicial in front of civil and tax courts in the context of the different possible procedures  (inventory, seals, accountability, judicial liquidations, revocation action, annulation ou reduction of donation or share…).