How Wills & Inheritance Works in Germany?

Let’s talk briefly about how the inheritance law works in Germany.

In German inheritance and will law, the spouse of the inheritor is entitled to receive half of the inheritance. The other half of the inheritance is equally divided between the children of the inheritor. However, this rule is only applied when the inheritor does not have any legal will. If the inheritor does not have any children or any means of descendants but has a spouse, then the spouse is entitled to receive three-quarters of the inheritance. The rest will be equally divided between the siblings and parents of the inheritor. It will be worth noting that children born without the legal marriage of the partners also have the right the benefit from the inheritance.

Is there any inheritance acceptance period in German laws?

Just like many inheritances and will law all around the world, German Laws also identify a predetermined period for the acceptance of inheritance. If the inheritor is residing in Germany, then this period is limited to six weeks. On the other hand, if the inheritor is residing abroad, this period is limited to six months. If the inheritance will not be rejected during these periods, the inheritor will be legally won the inheritance. The acceptance of inheritance can be reversed too but only under strict circumstances.

Can you cancel the will?

If the inheritors believe that the will provided by the inheritor does not comply with the original purpose of the inheritor, they can apply and request the cancellation of the will. You have to file a lawsuit for the cancellation. The German courts will decide on whether the will should be canceled or not. It will be worth noting that wills prepared under pressure or as a result of a mistake are reasonable reasons for cancellation. However, there is a pre-determined period to file a lawsuit for the cancellation of the will and it is limited to a year.

What does partition of the inheritance mean?

In case there is more than one inheritor, all these inheritors form an inheritance partnership. All the future decisions about the inheritance should be given jointly among these inheritors. Although you have to will at hand, it is not possible to benefit from the inheritance without the written permission and approval of other inheritors. If the inheritors cannot agree on how to share the inheritance, any of them can file a lawsuit.

Unfortunately, some of these processes, especially the lawsuits, can take years to be completed. Although you can carry out all the requests and demands on your own, it will be better to receive a professional consultancy. You can receive assistance from many attorneys who are specialized in this field. German laws also provide a great convenience for any citizen whether they are German or not. Receiving professional assistance from an attorney can help you to avoid time-consuming processes that can be quite boring and lawsuits. In addition to this, a state attorney can also be provided for you when you file a lawsuit and do not have enough money to hire one.

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