Meeting Joëlle and Pierre

Joëlle and Pierre are 75 and 74 years old respectively. They have lived together for ten years in Uccle, in the Brussels region, in the house they bought on the edge of Soignes forest. When they married, Pierre had just become self-employed. They therefore opted for the regime of separation of property. Their 4 children, namely Frédéric, Maude, Benoît and Gilles, spent most of their school years in France; at the time, Joëlle worked as a senior executive in Rouen, where the couple settled. All the children still live in France.

Their objectives

  • Ensure optimisation of the inheritance tax that would apply to their capital
  • Protect each other on the decease of the first of them
  • Grow their future inheritance assets

The OneLife solution

After in-depth discussions with the couple to correctly understand their objectives, their broker contacted the experts at OneLife in order to develop a solution that meets the wealth management objectives of Joëlle and Pierre with due consideration given to the status of their 4 children as French tax residents.

The solution proposed by the experts at OneLife is as follows:

  • Creation of an Umbrella internal dedicated fund (IDF), covering all the amounts paid in for the 4 children, to be invested in line with a single investment policy. The funds will be subdivided into 4 policies, 1 for each child, in a completely equitable manner.
  • Both Joëlle and Pierre are the holders of the 4 policies and the contribution of each to the IDF is clearly defined. The lives insured are those of the couple and their children.
  • In the interests of mutual protection between spouses, the policies incorporate an accretion clause: on the death of one of the spouses, the assets of the deceased will be added to those of the surviving spouse. This clause has relatively strict conditions and is solely applicable in Belgium, given that Joëlle and Pierre are both Belgian tax residents (Bruxelles- Capitale region).
  • After the decease of the first spouse, the surviving spouse during their lifetime will assign to each child the rights to the policy specified for them. In order to protect the surviving parent, the assignment will be subject to various conditions, notably the granting to the survivor-donor spouse of an (optional) annuity income of 4%, a contractual return clause in the event of the predecease of a child, an inalienability clause and prohibition on contribution to any community of property.

Meeting the objectives

From a wealth management point of view

  • In the event of the decease of Joëlle or Pierre, the rights attached to the policy will be transferred to the surviving spouse and the policy does not entail any risk of being frozen or terminated. The redemption rights will be transferred to the surviving policyholder, without entailing death duties in either Belgium or France.
  • At the time of the surviving spouse’s choosing, the assets will be transferred to the 4 children.
  • The existence of 4 policies avoids the situation of indivision between the children.
  • The structure of the IDF simplifies management of the assets and the related costs.

From a tax point of view

No double taxation despite the involvement of 2 countries

  • In Belgium, the donation of the surviving spouse will be subject to the direct gift rate (3.3%, gift recorded by a notary) or to the indirect gift rate (0%, subject to compliance with strict conditions).
  • In Belgium, no death duties will be due as gift taxes alone apply to such transactions.
  • Subject to compliance with certain conditions, the power of taxation should fall in Belgium, with no death duties being due in France.


Thanks to the support provided by OneLife, the broker employed by Joëlle and Pierre has been able to find a bespoke solution to meet their personal objectives with legal and fiscal certainty. The policy may be adapted should the situation of the couple or children ever change, once again with the support of the dedicated OneLife team.

Want to know more?

Discover in our whitepaper the benefits of Luxembourg life insurance and its application through some practical cases.