The European Network of Registers of Wills Association

The Netherlands

Registering and searching for wills

- What are the forms of will in The Netherlands? 

* the authentic will, drawn up by a civil law notary.

* the sealed will, drawn up by the testator or by a third party and handed over to a civil law notary.

- Does a register of wills exist in The Netherlands?

Yes, there is a register, administered by the Dutch Notariat (KNB). The wills are registered and searched electronically.

1.The registration of a will

- Why register a will?

Under Dutch law, to be deemed valid, all wills require the involvement of a civil law notary. Registration of the will in the register is mandatory. In this way, the testator can be sure that his last wishes will be found and therefore respected following his death.

- Who can carry out the registration?

The civil law notary carries out the registration of wills. It is not the content of the will which is registered in the register but the information which enables the will to be found.

- Who keeps the will?

The civil law notary is in charge of keeping authentic and sealed wills.

- Can the testator’s family members consult the register while he is still alive?

No, the existence of a will and its content shall remain a secret during the entire life of the testator.

- How much does it cost to register a will?

The registration of a will costs about 9€.

2.The search for the wills

- Who may query the register of wills?

Upon the death of the testator, the deceased’s family may consult the register of wills themselves or through a civil law notary. This query is not obligatory but it is however recommended because it ensures that the last wishes of the testator are respected.

- Is it necessary to provide a death certificate?

Yes, the testator’s family must provide a death certificate in order to be able to carry out a search. This measure enables to ensure that the existence of the will remains secret throughout the testator’s life.

- How much does a search cost?

Searches in the register are free of charge.


15 June 2012
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by the European Union