Samenlevingscontract in het Engels: free example in English

This is a free template for your notarial cohabitation contract in English. 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 home buyers!

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 simple template for your English notarial cohabitation contract (Engels samenlevingscontract) is suitable for expats in a common situation. By that I mean the following. You want a samenlevingscontract because you have 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). Of course you also want the household goods to be jointly owned, just like the house, without exceptions.

For whom this simple contract is not suitable

Our free sample 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? Do you have a poor relationship with your 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 the private property if one of you dies. Under Dutch law, you can only leave a few private possessions, like jewelry, to each other in a hand written will. In a notarial will (testament), made by a Dutch civil-law notary (notaris), you can appoint each other as heir. In that case, the surviving partner inherits all private possessions, such as your savings and your car and a house registered in one name.

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. You can use this site to find a notaris near you.

Don’t sign the deed without a civil-law notary because a home-made contract is not accepted by your pension fund. This example for your English cohabitation contact is free for you to use. The signature of the notaris, however, will not be for free. Take a look on this website if you want to find the cheapest notaris in your area.

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 the private property if one of you dies. Under Dutch law, you can leave a few private possessions, like jewelry, to each other in a hand written will. In a notarial will (testament), made by a Dutch civil-law notary (notaris), you can appoint each other as heir. In that case, the surviving partner inherits all private possessions.

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 yet? Even then a contract makes sense because of the partner’s pension.