German Inheritance Law

The German Probate law is different from the one applied in the US. In principle, the German inheritance applies to when the diseased was a German citizen. However, other jurisdictions often refer to German inheritance law when the estate in question is located in Germany. These are two main instances where this law can apply. As such, a law firm that has adequate experience in German probate law should handle any issues related to the application of these laws.

Intestate successionsZDaSdcASc

Intestate succession applies when the diseased passed on without leaving a will behind. If this is the case, the spouse and descendants of the diseased are called to succession. In case there are no descendants, the parents and their children should are entitled to inherit the property. This explains that the common proposition of having a spouse to inherit everything is not true in German law.

Intestate inheritance quotas

This law defines who get what. This law depends on the matrimonial property regime the couple lived with. As such, German inheritance law clearly sets out the separation of property, joint property, and the German statutory matrimonial regime. This law lays down the matrimonial regime of the country where the couple got applies. However, this law holds only if the couple had not agreed otherwise.

The will – Testament

The German inheritance law only recognizes wills that are completely handwritten. It also allows for notarial recorded statements. Unlike what is common in English speaking nations, witness testaments have no place in German law. However, if the will involves testators from other nationalities, the will can only be accepted in Germany if it complies with the requirement of the foreign jurisdiction.


AXADcADdXIn Germany, testamentary freedom is accepted. However, if the diseased disinherited his spouse and some of his siblings, they are entitled to a compulsory share. The compulsory share accounts for half of the amount the beneficiary was entitled to in the case of the intestate succession. The mandatory share is calculated by adding total assets to all donations made ten years before the death of the diseased.

In Germany, a descendant takes up both the property and obligation of the diseased. As such, it is important to understand where you stand. You are liberty to accept or reject the will. Only an experienced attorney with a solid background German inheritance law should handle succession-related issues. You might also visit one for some consultations about the same.