Small but without limits

Parental division

A parental division, also called ascendants division, is a deed among the living or by will by which the ascendants divide their goods or a part of it among their descendants. The parental division is only possible by means of a gift or by will.

So there is a real division in which the "lots" are already composed in advance. The distributor will therefore determine who will receive which goods.

This is important in the context of succession planning. After all, in this way the fragmentation of certain goods is counteracted.

The conditions of validity include that the division can only take place between ascendants and descendants, ie the parents and the children.

Furthermore, an actual division must also take place, so that the undividedness ceases. Such a construction should therefore be distinguished from a special legate, in which the testator allocates specific property to a specific heir, and the remaining property is divided according to legal succession law.

The distributor has the choice whether to include all his goods in the distribution or only part of it. The unincluded assets are then divided after death according to the legal inheritance law.

The parental division must be made in accordance with the forms, conditions and rules prescribed with regard to the gifts and wills.

Yet this technique is rarely used because of the possibilities of challenge. For example, the division of the estate can be annulled because of the skipping of a child, and because of disadvantage for more than a quarter. (Articles 1078 and 1079 B.W.)

It is therefore only possible to bring a claim for disadvantage for more than one quarter if the value of the lot is less than three quarters of the main share in the distribution.