PhD defense: Management of family assets through (Dutch-law) certification: quite a puzzle


Certification of assets is not always seen in a positive way. It is linked to putting up smokescreens to avoid tax. However, asset certification is often a legitimate way to manage family wealth. In the Netherlands, there are not many other options for families to manage their assets for a longer period. Abroad, there are more options; a trust for example.

Asset certification means that the economic interest in certain assets is (partially) separated from the control of those assets. The person who has the economic interest is the certificate holder. The one who has control is often called an administrator.

So what are the motives why families want to separate the control of their assets from the economic interest? And how does asset certification function as a management structure in 2024?

This PhD research shows that there are often very legitimate reasons to separate control from economic interest. Examples of motives include handing over day-to-day management or preventing disputes when dividing an estate. If wanting to keep assets within the family is the main motive, certification of assets is in principle suitable as a management structure, but it sometimes becomes too complex. In addition, there is legal uncertainty in several parts of such a structure.

It is up to the legislator to remedy these adverse effects so that families can use certification to manage their assets.

Start date and time
End date and time
Academiegebouw (Domplein 29, Utrecht) and online
PhD candidate
A.M. Steegmans
Beheer van familievermogen door middel van certificering
PhD supervisor(s)
prof. mr. drs. J.W.A. Biemans
prof. mr. drs. D.F.M.M. Zaman