Will Preparation in Germany

Will Preparation in Germany

Updated on Monday 04th December 2017

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The testament is recognized by the Civil Law in Germany as the document through which a person’s properties can be divided between his/her heirs, according to the will of the deceased person. If someone has properties in Germany, he/she may include in the will statements regarding how the assets to be distributed after his/her death. The specific German legislation concerning inheritance can be explained to you by one of our German lawyers who can assist you as well with the elaboration of this document. 

Inheritance in Germany

According to the German legislation, there are several types of will which can be elaborated in this country. For example, if a person is married, he/she may choose to elaborate a joint will or a mutual will, which is a testament of both spouses. A will can represent as well two people who are not husband and wife, but who share some assets. Another version is to elaborate a contract of inheritance which imposes certain conditions on the heirs and on the final purpose of the inheritance. 
In order to be recognized by the authorities and to be an official document, a will needs to verify certain conditions. First of all the testament needs to be notarized, otherwise it is not valid. One of our attorneys in Germany can help you write your will in compliance with the inheritance law in this country and to confer legal validity to the document. 

Facts concerning the testament in Germany

The procedure of inheritance in Germany comes together with the payment of the inheritance tax. Depending on the value of the properties, the heir might be exempt for the payment of the inheritance tax, or might be required to pay a different tax rate. This rate is also variable depending on the family relationship which exists between the deceased and the inheritor. For example the tax-free allowance for a spouse is of 500.000 euros, when for parents is of 100.000 euros. 
If due to a donation, some heirs are deprived of their inheritance rights mentioned in a German will, they can decide to contest the distribution of the assets. In certain conditions, wills can be contested in Germany, if there is a suspicion concerning the validity of the testament.
Feel free to contact our law firm in Germany to find out more information concerning the will elaboration in this country.