Small coffin with a scroll, where there is "testament" written on it, adorned with a red and a yellow rose and a crucifix necklace.

After a Case of Succession

For the surviving relatives and or spouse, a case of succession usually is an absolutely exceptional situation. Even if the funeral went relatively well and the grief is not paralyzing and almost overpowering any more, the trouble with the inheritance just begins to emerge.

  • How is the testament to be interpreted? Who will become heir, who will receive a special legacy under the last will? What are the inheritance quotas and which legal rights does a legatee have to ask for the special legacy’s fulfilment?
  • If there is no last will and testament, who will inherit which share of the estate according to the statutory heirship rules?
  • Which assets of the deceased had existed originally and what is left of them?
  • Had life insurances contracts been concluded and who was appointed as a beneficiary?
  • Did the decedent have debts and who is legally liable for those debts at present? How long is it possible to disclaim the inheritance under German inheritance law?
  • What are the peculiarities of a German community of heirs and who is entitled to make decisions when a multitude of heirs have different ideas how to deal with the estate?
  • Had the deceased granted a Durable Power of Attorney or a General Power of Attorney? If yes, which legal transactions were made with these by the attorney-in-fact?
  • How do the beneficiaries get access to the bank assets and the securities deposit account of the deceased at home and abroad? What has to be done about the real estate?
  • Is it necessary to apply for a certificate of inheritance? What does that cost and how is it done?
  • Which claims and rights may persons who are entitled to receive a so-called compulsory share pursuant to German inheritance law have?
  • Were there donations of the deceased that might have reduced the compulsory share?
  • Who can help competently with the assets of the deceased in foreign countries?
  • What must be done regarding a possible inheritance tax duty in Germany?
  • How can an estate litigation in Germany be prevented in spite of a controversy or, if unavoidable, at least be led in a way that leads to a full or at least prevailing success?

Do you have some of these or many more questions about German inheritance law?

Specialist inheritance lawyer Dr. Hosser has the answers for you.

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Dr. Marcus Hosser TEP (Trust and Estate Practitioner) – Fachanwalt für Erbrecht.
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