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What is a civil relationship in an estate?

Verified 18 February 2021 - Legal and Administrative Information Directorate (Prime Minister)

The civil relationship consists in the fictitious reintegration into the patrimony of the deceased the past donations. Recipients of donations do not have to return the goods received. It is their value that is added to the heritage of the deceased.

If there is at least one reserving heir, the civil report of the donations ensures that they do not interfere with the part of the inheritance due to them.

If there are at least 2 heirs and one of them received a donation, the civil report of the donations ensures equal treatment between the heirs.

Some donations are not included in the civil report. This is notably the case for the donation made outside the estate share, sharing donation and use present.

In practice, the civil report is made by the notary responsible for the succession.


civil relationship should not be confused with fiscal report.

Simplified Example to Explain the Civil Reporting Principle

One person donated his living to each of his 3 children:

  • 3to child: €10 000
  • 2nd child: €20,000
  • 3th child: €30,000

The total donations are therefore €60,000.

She dies leaving a heritage of €120 000.

The civil ratio of these donations to the deceased's estate increases the value of the deceased's estate €60,000, bringing its total to €180 000.

Sharing this fictional heritage of €180 000 between the 3 children gives each one a theoretical heritage of €60,000.

But we must deduce from each one the value of the gift he had received during the lifetime of the deceased.

  • 1to child €60,000 - €10 000 = €50 000
  • 2nd will €60,000 - €20,000 = €40,000
  • 3th€60,000 - €30,000 = €30,000.

The sum of the share of each corresponds to the value of the estate of the deceased: €50 000 + €40,000 + €30,000 = €120 000.