Registering and searching for wills

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 central register of wills (CTR), administered by The Royal Dutch Association of Civil-law Notaries (KNB). The wills are registered and searched electronically.

I. 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 5.50 €.

II. The search for the wills
  •  Who may query the register of wills?

Upon the death of the testator, any interested party may query 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. More information can be found at (in Dutch).

  •  Is it necessary to provide a death certificate?

Anyone wanting to make a search must present a death certificate or another document proving the death of the testator. 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.

Fiche pratique - inscrire et rechercher un testament - Pays-Bas- EN