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Notarization of the inheritance

If you do not wish to accept an inheritance, you must declare the cancellation of the inheritance to a notary, have it certified and submitted to the probate court.

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  • Forms
    • Forms are not required.
    • An online procedure is not possible, as the personal appearance of the refuser is required.
    • The refusal is made by declaration to the probate court. The declaration must be submitted to the notary in writing to the probate court or in publicly certified form.
    • The personal appearance is required for this.
  • Detailed description

    Once you have become an heir, you must decide whether to accept or reject the inheritance. This applies regardless of whether you inherit on the basis of legal succession, a will or a contract of inheritance. First, find out what assets and liabilities are present.

    If you do not wish to accept the inheritance, you must expressly declare the refusal. It is not enough for you to provide a written statement.

    You can declare the refusal of the inheritance to a notary, have it certified and submitt it to the probate court.

    If the inheritance has been effectively rejected, the rejecting person is treated as if the inheritance had never accrued.

  • Requirements
    • Identity card or passport with registration certificate
    • The presentation of the death certificate is not mandatory. If there is no death certificate, you must provide the full name (with birth name), the date of death and the last habitual residence of the deceased person.
    • Indication of minor children as co-heirs. If necessary, the approval of the family court is required (information on this can be obtained from the probate court). You must submit the application to the family court that has jurisdiction over the child's habitual residence. The approval must be proven to the probate court within the notice period.
    • If a supervisor declares the refusal, the approval of the care court is required. The approval must be proven within the deadline for the refusal.
  • Documents
    • Identity card or passport with registration certificate
    • The presentation of the death certificate is not mandatory. If there is no death certificate, you must provide the full name (with birth name), the date of death and the last habitual residence of the deceased person.
    • Indication of minor children as co-heirs. If necessary, the approval of the family court is required (information on this can be obtained from the probate court). You must submit the application to the family court that has jurisdiction over the child's habitual residence. The approval must be proven to the probate court within the notice period.
    • If a supervisor declares the refusal, the approval of the care court is required. The approval must be proven within the deadline for the refusal.
  • Fees
    • The fees for an inheritance exemption result from the value of the inheritance
    • If the estate is over-indebted, only costs of 30 euros will be incurred in the event of a removal of the estate.
    • The notary charges additional costs (VAT and expenses).
  • Process

    You go to a notary for a public certification of your declaration.

  • Duration

    The refusal of an inheritance is accepted immediately. It is a good thing to make an appointment by phone with the notary of your choice.

  • Deadline
    • Six weeks from the moment you learn about the inheritance
    • If you are appointed as heir by a will or a contract of inheritance, the period does not begin until the probate court has announced the disposition of property upon death.
    • Six months if the deceased had the last residence only abroad
      or
    • you have been abroad as an heir or heir at the beginning of the period.
  • Responsible authority
  • Legal basis
  • Pointer

    minor

    For minor children, only the legal representative can reject the inheritance. The legal representative is the one who has custody of the child. If both parents have custody, they can only jointly reject the inheritance for their child.

    Refusal after acceptance of the inheritance inadmissible

    In principle, the inheritance can no longer be rejected if the heir has accepted the inheritance. Thus, by his/her behavior has shown that he/she accepts his/her position as the successor of the deceased. If the heir did not know that the estate was over-indebted, he/she may be able to contest the acceptance of the inheritance. The challenge is time-bound and formal (6 weeks, declaration to the probate court or the notary). The effective challenge shall eliminate the legal consequences of the previous refusal or acceptance. Because of the complicated legal issues, timely legal advice is often advisable.

  • More informationen

    Information from the Federal Ministry of Justice on heirs and inheritances

  • Approved

    Ministry of Justice of the State of Brandenburg

  • Approved date
    05.11.2020