What is in the certificate of inheritance and who can commission it?
First of all, if you apply for a certificate of inheritance or already have it, you have officially accepted the inheritance and can no longer refuse it. This means that the heir has assumed all rights and obligations – such as paying off a loan – from the testator. The type of certificate of inheritance that can be issued or applied for depends, among other things, on the number of heirs. There is the sole inheritance certificate for sole heirs, the joint inheritance certificate for a group of heirs, the partial inheritance certificate for individual parts of a group of heirs and the foreign legal inheritance certificate. The latter is issued for the estate in Germany, whereby foreign law applies to its administration. The certificate of inheritance itself always states who inherits what share from whom, with what restrictions.
With a certificate of inheritance, heirs have access to accounts, insurances and other estate of the testator and can manage them. All legitimate heirs, executors or institutions such as banks can apply for it if they do not know the heir. Even creditors who still have outstanding claims against the deceased can apply for a certificate of inheritance in order to be able to locate the heirs.
The applicant has to confirm the accuracy of the information and can be liable to prosecution
There are two ways to apply for a certificate of inheritance: either directly at the probate court or through a notary or lawyer who applies for the certificate of inheritance for the heir. It is important: The applicant must be able to present several documents – such as the death certificate of the testator – and confirm the accuracy of the information. If he withholds information or an existing will, he is liable to prosecution. In paragraph 2361 of the civil code it says: “If it turns out that the issued certificate of inheritance is incorrect, the probate court has to confiscate it.” The corresponding certificate of inheritance is then invalid and invalid. The probate court in the region of the last known place of residence of the testator is usually responsible for drawing up a certificate of inheritance.
It is also important that when real estate is inherited, it is not enough to present a certificate of inheritance to identify yourself as an heir: an entry must also be made in the land register – and in order to realize this, unless there is a notarized will or an inheritance contract , a certificate of inheritance is required.
BGH 2013: Banks cannot always request a certificate of inheritance
However, a certificate of inheritance is not required at the bank if a will, a certified copy or an inheritance contract exist and can be presented. Some banks still require this – but heirs can refer to a decision of the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) from 2013, which states that banks are not allowed to request a certificate of inheritance when presenting the above-mentioned documents.
The creation of a certificate of inheritance is subject to a fee. The price is based on the value of the estate and is staggered. T-Online According to an estate value of 1,000 euros, it is 40 euros and for an estate value of 5,000 euros it is 90 euros – if you are not sure how much money you need to spend on applying for a certificate of inheritance, you can have this calculated free of charge on the Internet . It is also good to know that heirs who also have to identify themselves as such abroad can apply for a so-called European certificate of inheritance instead of a certificate of inheritance: This is not only valid in Germany, like the certificate of inheritance, but has the same functions as the certificate of inheritance.
Finanzen.net editorial team
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