Samenlevingscontract in het Engels: free example in English

This is a free template for your notarial cohabitation contract in English. Do you agree with the content? Then all you need is a Dutch civil-law notary (notaris) to sign this Engels Samenlevingscontract with you and you’re done.

Be sure to also check my 10 legal tips for first time home buyers in the Netherlands!

Samenlevingscontract explanation

Let’s first explain in English what a samenlevingscontract is and what the benefits are for you as expats living in the Netherlands. A samenlevingscontract is a notarial deed in which two persons that live together agree to take care of each other financially. These are the only requirements set by Dutch law.

For most couples, the main benefit of a samenlevingscontract is the protection it offers in the event of death. In the contract you can agree that the surviving partner is entitled to the jointly owned home, the household goods and the partner’s pension. The partner’s pension is a lifelong monthly benefit paid to the remaining partner. This is offered as standard by most Dutch pension schemes.

Do you also want some protection in the event of a breakup? For example in the form of a community of goods, pension equalization or alimony? Then a registered partnership or marriage might suit you better.

A simple contract for a common situation

This template for your English notarial cohabitation contract (Engels samenlevingscontract) is suitable for expats in a simple and common situation. By that I mean the following. You want a samenlevingscontract because you’ve just bought a house together in the Netherlands. The house is registered under both names, is financed with a mortgage and you’ve probably taken out a life insurance policy. You are both employed and participate in a pension scheme, you don’t have children (yet). You also want the household goods to be jointly owned, just like the house itself, without any exceptions.

For whom this simple contract is not suitable

This free example for your Engels samenlevingscontract (notarial cohabitation contract) is not suitable if your house is registered in one name. Does one of you have a child from a previous relationship? Have you already made a will in the past? Does one of you have a poor relationship with their family? Does one of these situations apply? Then please consult your Dutch civil-law notary (notaris) because you probably need to make a will.

When you need to make a will (testament)

You do not become each other’s heir by signing a contract. The surviving partner is therefore not entitled to any private property of the deceased. Under Dutch law, a hand written will can only dispose of a few movable goods, like furniture or jewelry. Only in a notarial will (testament), made by a Dutch civil-law notary (notaris), can you appoint each other as heir. In that case, the surviving partner inherits all private possessions, such as savings, a vehicle or a house solely registered in the name of the deceased.

When you have a child, this Engels samenlevingscontract is no longer sufficient under Dutch law. You should then add a notarial will to the contract in which you dispose of your estate. When you enter into a marriage or registered partnership, you do not have to make a will in the Netherlands. In that case, the protection of the surviving spouse is regulated by Dutch law.

Free template Engels samenlevingscontract

Have you, after reading the explanation above, come to the conclusion that a simple contract has enough benefits for you as expats? Then please read through this free example for your notarial cohabitation contract. I’ve tried my best to make a short and easy to understand template. If you agree with the content, then all you have to do is find a notaris to sign the contract with you. This example for your English cohabitation contact is free for you to use. The signature of the notaris, however, will not be for free. Dutch notaries are allowed to set their own rates. The rate for a Dutch cohabitation contract varies between € 300 and € 1.000. You can find the cheapest notary near you on this page. Always ask for a quote (“offerte”) before selecting a notary. It only takes a few minutes and you will save hundreds of euro’s. Be sure to mention in the application for the quote that you require an English deed.

samenlevingscontract engels
click on the image for a pdf Samenlevingscontract in English

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Frequently asked questions:

What is a cohabitation contract?

A “samenlevingscontract” is a notarial deed in which two persons that live together agree to take care of each other financially. These are the only requirements set by Dutch law.

Check out this free example in English.

What are the benefits of a cohabitation contract?

For most couples, the main benefit of a samenlevingscontract is the protection it offers in the event of death. In the contract you can agree that the surviving partner is entitled to the jointly owned home, the household goods and the partner’s pension. The partner’s pension is a lifelong monthly benefit paid to the remaining partner. This is offered as standard by most Dutch pension schemes.

When do I need to make a will?

You do not become each other’s heir by signing a contract. The surviving partner is therefore not entitled to any private property of the deceased. Under Dutch law, a hand written will can only dispose of a few movable goods, like furniture or jewelry. Only in a notarial will (testament), made by a Dutch civil-law notary (notaris), can you appoint each other as heir. In that case, the surviving partner inherits all private possessions, such as savings, a vehicle or a house solely registered in the name of the deceased.

Please read my blog for more info.

What is a good time to sign a cohabitation contract?

Most Dutch couples sign a cohabitation contract when they buy their first house. But the birth of a child is also a good reason. Are you renting a home and don’t have any children? Then it still makes sense to get a contract becausue of fiscal benefits.

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