How and when does one become an heir?
Last update: 10/1/2012
The succession of the estate is “automatically” transferred by the death of the deceased without the heir having to take any action. On the other hand, heirs must act if they do not want to accept the inheritance. In doing so, they must renounce the inheritance within 6 weeks (6 months if the deceased’s last place of residence was abroad).
When and how does one become an heir?
Is it possible to renounce a succession?
The heir may renounce the inheritance by making a declaration to the probate court for the purpose of authentication, or by a certified authentic declaration (§ 1945 BGB). The general deadline for renunciation is 6 weeks (§ 1944, par. 1er BGB), and 6 months if, among others, the last residence of the deceased was exclusively abroad (§ 1944, par. 3 BGB).
Is it possible to accept a succession subject to conditions?
Neither acceptance nor renunciation are subject to conditions (§ 1947 BGB).
Are the heirs and co-heirs liable for the deceased’s debts?
The liability of the heir for the debts of the deceased is in principle unlimited (§ 1967 BGB).
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Successions in Germany
Current country: Germany