Apply for a sole certificate on the basis of legal succession

If you are the sole heir or sole heir according to your legal succession, you can apply for a sole certificate of inheritance from the probate court to prove your status as an heir.

If the deceased person has not left a will and has not concluded a contract of inheritance, the legal succession occurs. In many cases, you will need proof of your inheritance law.

The sole certificate testifies that you alone take up the legal succession of the testator. This gives you, for example, access to a bank account of the deceased person or you can apply for entries in the land register.

  • Identity card or passport
  • Death certificate of the testator
  • Documents documenting the position as a legal heir, for example:
    • Family Record Book
    • Birth certificate
    • Marriage certificate
  • Information on whether there is a process on your inheritance law
  • Proof of why certain persons who would actually be (co-)heirs are not heirs, for example:
    • Death certificates
    • Declarations of Waiver of Inheritance
    • Declarations of renunciation of inheritance
  • if applicable, wills or contracts of inheritance or at least information there, for example in the case of special official custody
  • in the case of spouses: proof of matrimonial property regime
  • in the case of registered civil partnerships: proof of assets

Online procedure possible:
Written form required: no
Personal appearance required:

  • when applying: no
  • in case of affidavit: yes


Only as a sole inherited can you apply for a single certificate.

  • Information brochure of the Federal Ministry of Justice on inheritance and inheritance
  • Information brochure "Inherit inherit" of the Lower Saxony Ministry of Justice
  • Information brochure "Inherit inherit" of the Lower Saxony Ministry of Justice in simple language

Related Links

  • §§ 2353 to 2370 Civil Code (BGB)
  • §§ 352 to 352 e of the Act on Proceedings in Family Matters and in Matters of Voluntary Jurisdiction (FamFG)

You must apply for a sole certificate at the competent probate court (district court):

  • Submit an informal application for the issuance of a sole certificate and attach all the necessary documents.
  • Alternatively, you can submit the application via an authorised person, such as a notary or a lawyer, or declare it to the court for the record.
  • Personally submit an insurance on oath before the district court or before a notary or before a notary. By doing so, you assure that you are not aware of anything that would prevent the correctness of your information in the application for a certificate of inheritance.
    • This is not necessary if the district court waives it.
    • If a notary notary certifies the insurance on oath, this person can at the same time certify the application for a certificate of inheritance.
  • The district court checks your eligibility and issues the certificate of inheritance.

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Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection

Last update or date of publication