What are the Rights of the surviving Spouse?
According to § 1931 I BGB, the surviving spouse inherits a quarter of the estate next to heirs of the first order (descendants). Next to relatives of the second and third order he inherits half.
In addition, an increase of the inheritance share by one quarter is considered if the spouses have lived in the marital property regime of the german "Zugewinngemeinschaft", § 1371 I BGB. If the spouses did not live under the German matrimonial property regime but under a foreign matrimonial property regime, it is a question of whether this regime is comparable to the German regime. This is virtually impossible, which is why an increase in the share of the inheritance pursuant to § 1371 I BGB cannot be considered in cases of foreign matrimonial property regimes. Consequently, the quota according to § 1931 I BGB remains. Other claims under the applicable matrimonial property law (for example, the American law) are not affected by this and may exist in addition.