Apply for a limited sole certificate

If you are the sole heir, you will often need a certificate of inheritance as proof of your right of inheritance. You can have this limited to the estate in Germany if the objects of the estate are located both in Germany and abroad.

A sole certificate attests that you alone take over the legal succession of the testator. This is the case if the deceased person has designated you as the sole or universal heir in the will or on the basis of a contract of inheritance. Or if you take up the legal succession as the sole heir within the framework of the legal succession, because all other co-heirs have rejected the inheritance.

You can also apply for a limited certificate of inheritance at the probate court. If there is an estate abroad in the form of objects, this certificate of inheritance is limited to the estate located in Germany.

Related Links

  • § 352 c Act on Proceedings in Family Matters and in Matters of Voluntary Jurisdiction (FamFG)
  • Identity card or passport
  • Death certificate of the deceased person, i.e. the testator
  • If necessary, documents for the documentation of the position as a legal heir, for example
    • Family Record Book
    • birth certificates,
    • 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 necessary, submission or information on wills or contracts of inheritance
  • in the case of spouses: proof of matrimonial property regime
  • in the case of registered civil partnerships: proof of assets
  • Presentation or proof that objects of the estate are located abroad

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


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

Preconditions

  • You are the sole inheriter
  • You take on an inheritance that includes objects at home and abroad.
  • 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)
  • § 352b 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
    • through an authorised person, such as a notary or a lawyer, or
    • declare 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.

Responsible for the content
Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection

Last update or date of publication
15.11.2021