Heirs recourse through the social welfare agency

Is the heir liable for the costs of the home and care?

Costs of home accommodation and care can be so high that the person concerned cannot cover them with his or her pension and care insurance. If a home accommodation is nevertheless necessary, the costs are taken over by the social welfare assistance carrier. Under certain circumstances, however, the heirs are then obliged to reimburse the expenses of the social welfare agency. Relevant are the social welfare benefits within a period of 10 years before the inheritance.


The "heir recourse" is important for the social welfare institutions because the person in need of social welfare often has considerable assets left to him within the framework of the so-called "Schonvermögen". Thus appropriate house properties and/or free-hold apartments of the needy person or his spouse are not touched, as long as the needy person or his spouse lives therein (§ 90 exp. 2 number 8 SGB VII). In the cases, in which the concerning became social welfare-needy because of the height of the home costs, it concerns thereby naturally the protection of the spouse, who still lives in the house and/or in the free-hold apartment.


If the person in need has died and the house or condominium was part of his or her assets, his or her heirs should not be able to benefit from these considerable assets, while the general public had previously borne part of the costs of home accommodation and care for years.


Whether a plot of land or a condominium is appropriate depends on characteristics such as the size of the plot of land, the size of the house, the equipment, the market value etc. Appropriate house plots or condominiums cannot be encumbered with mortgages by the social welfare agency.


Not only the heirs of the person in need of social welfare assistance themselves are affected by the heir recourse, but also the heirs of the spouse. Often the heirs of the person in need of social welfare and the heirs of the spouse are the same persons, e.g. the common children. Background is here the fundamental obligation of the married couples among themselves. The obligation of the spouse to stand in for the costs of living of the other person is also continued by the heirs. If therefore not the needy person himself (accommodated in the home) dies, but the spouse of the needy person and if the previously spared house property or the condominium stood in his property, the heirs recourse is taken by the heirs of the spouse.




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Phone: +49 211 / 550 84 35-0
E-mail: info_at_gottschalk-erbrecht.de