Law of Succession

The law of succession encompasses prescriptions regulating the manner an inheritance is transfered from the deceased to the inheritor.

German law offers a range of procedures someone can arrange inheritance in case of his death. This includes making a will as well as closing an “Erbvertrag” – a contract with another person, obligating each other to transfer inheritance to the second person in case of dying. Only subsidiary, legal regulation applies and distributes the inheritance among the successors. It’s obvious that comprehensive legal advice should be obtained well before setting up any arrangements in this context.

Correspondingly, the assigned inheritor faces the decision whether to accept or reject the inheritance. He might bear serious consequences, since – frequently – grave uncertainty exists, not only regarding the inheritance’s extent, but also regarding tax and legal questions, compensation claims by third parties, etc. Therefore, it might be beneficial to consult lawyers as well as tax advisors before deciding.

An serious incentive to transfer funds and/or goods to other persons, such as family members, well before bothering about inheritance problems, could arise from allowable deductions. Profound expert advice might allow considerable inheritance tax savings.

Selected F.A.Q.s and respective answers on this topic will be available for your information and can be browsed in the navigation bar on the left. Please keep in mind that this is introductory information only, not taking into account individual aspects. Although preparing and updating carefully, we cannot guarantee the accuracy, completeness, and quality of the information provided, nor that it is up-to-date. If you face a legal problem, we strongly suggest you consider our firm or any other attorney’s office in order to obtain appropriate legal advice.