Rejection of inheritance


The heir is the legal successor of the testator. This means that the heir not only receives the assets, but also assumes the debts and obligations of the testator, if applicable. This can, for example, be a reason to reject the inheritance. According to § 1944 BGB the disclaimer can only be declared within 6 weeks. The period begins at the time when the heir becomes aware of the occurrence and the reason for the appeal. Knowledge in this sense requires reliable experience of the relevant factual and legal circumstances. The heir must therefore know that the testator has died and that he himself has become heir.

If the heir misses the deadline for disclaiming the inheritance, the only possibility is to contest the acceptance of the inheritance or the missed deadline for disclaiming the inheritance.

In this case the law stipulates in § 1953 paragraph 2 BGB that according to the heirs declaring the disclaimer, those are appointed as heirs who would also be heirs if the disclaiming heirs had not been alive at all at the time of the inheritance. The succession therefore continues. In the case of statutory succession, further succession is based on the disclaimer according to §§ 1925 para. 3 sentence 1, 1924 para. 3 BGB. According to this the children of the rejecting person inherit (succession according to tribes). For this reason it is necessary that the descendants of the rejecting person also declare the rejection.

In the case of a rejection by the heir designated in the will, the descendants of the rejecting person also inherit according to the interpretation rule of § 2069 BGB. However, this does not have to be the case if a different will of the testator can be established. Nevertheless, in this case, the descendants of the deceased should also always be excluded.

The disclaimer of an inheritance is made by declaration to the probate court that according to § 343 FamFG is responsible for the estate. Usually it is the court in whose district the testator had his last residence.

§ 344 para. 7 FamFG determines now expressly that a declaration of rejection opposite the locally not responsible probate court is in time and effective. The provision covers the acceptance of the declination of the inheritance (§ 1945, paragraph 1, BGB), the challenge of a declination of the inheritance (§ 1955, sentence 1, alt. 2, BGB) and - despite not being mentioned - also the challenge under § 2308, paragraph 1, BGB and the challenge of an acceptance of the inheritance (§§ 1955, sentence 1, alt. 1, 1956, BGB).




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