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german intestacy rules

German LawGerman ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance Law

Most Germans die without a Will

German Intestacy Rules Explained The German rules about what happens when a person dies without having made a valid will (intestacy), are set out in section 1923 to 1936 German Civil Code (Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch, an English translation being available here. Intestate succession affects many families because roughly two out of three Germans die without having a valid Will in place. German intestacy rules are very different from those in Common Law countries. Children of the…
German ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawGerman Tax Law

How to apply for a German Grant of Probate

First, you need to make the right choice about which German Grant to apply for The German equivalent of a UK Grant of Probate is the Certificate of Inheritance (Erbschein). Less common is its “little brother”, the Certificate of Executorship (Testamentsvollstreckerzeugnis). Both documents are issued by the Nachlassgericht which is the probate department of the respective local District Court (Amtsgericht). Who needs an Erbschein? As we have explained here, German law applies the principle of…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
June 30, 2014