One of the traditional areas of a notary’s work is inheritance law. Wills and inheritance contracts are the most important aspects of this area.
In a discussion with the client, the notary will first take note of their specific life situation and their existing wishes. Besides the determination of an heir, clients frequently express the wish to ensure the sensible organisation of their assets beyond death. The notary then establishes with the client whether, for example, the statutory instruments for provisional succession and reversionary inheritance or for the execution of a will are suitable to implement the will of the testator.
In order to avoid disputes after the death of the testator, it should also be clarified whether, for example, relatives who are not included in the will have already waived the right to any compulsory portion of the estate.
When drafting any inheritance documents, the notary will explain the principles of inheritance tax to their clients and, if necessary, clarify the details with their tax advisor.
However, after the death of the testator, the heirs can also use the notary’s services. When someone dies, it is often necessary to prove who their heirs are. An appropriate way to do this is via the certificate of inheritance (Erbschein) that the heirs can apply for through the notary.
If several people are appointed as joint heirs, the notary can help with the division of the estate and set up an agreement on the distribution of the inheritance or a contract for the sale of a portion of an inheritance (Erbteilskaufvertrag).