Children and surviving Spouse cannot be entirely disinherited under German Law
Germany, like many other European countries (e.g. France, Spain, Austria etc), has mandatory succession laws to stop a person from leaving their spouse and/or their children penniless.
These “forced heirship” laws in most European countries reflect public policy that a testator shall not be allowed to leave these close family members (spouse and offspring) destitute by making little or no provision for them in his or her Last Will and Testament.
In Germany, this protection is embodied in the “Pflichtteilsrecht” which is codified in sections 2303 to 2338 German Civil Code. These German forced heirship rules only become relevant if:
The Anglo-German law firm Graf & Partners and its German-English litigation department GP Trial Lawyers was established in 2003 and has many years of experience with British-German and US-German probate and tax matters, including the representation of clients in contentious probate matters. We are experts ininternational succession matters, probate and inheritance law. If you wish us to advise or represent you in a German or cross border inheritance case please contact German solicitor Bernhard Schmeilzl, LL.M. (Leicester) at +49 941 463 7070.