Does the inheritance have to be accepted?


In German inheritance law, the principle of the "Vonselbsterwerb" applies. This means that at the second of the death of the testator, the heirs, even without knowledge of the death, acquire the estate. The inheritance does not have to be expressly accepted. This distinguishes German inheritance law from other legal systems, such as Austria. However, the heir has the option to disclaim the inheritance. 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.

For more information, see our article on acceptance and disclaimer of inheritance.




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