Inheritance: Apply for a certificate of inheritance

Those who have inherited often need a certificate of inheritance in order to be able to dispose of the inheritance.

You inherited. If you now want to dispose of the inheritance, a certificate of inheritance is required in many cases so that you can identify yourself in business transactions. This is particularly relevant if

  • there is no testamentary disposition (will or contract of inheritance), i.e. the legal succession has occurred,
  • a piece of land belongs to the estate and there is only a private will,
  • the content of the testamentary disposition is ambiguous.

The certificate of inheritance must be applied for. Since in principle an affidavit must be submitted about the correctness of the necessary information, you should personally contact a notary or the probate court.

In particular, in the case of a certificate of inheritance according to legal succession, the succession must be proven by civil status documents.

In order to prove the succession (for all eligible relatives), the following are required in particular:

  • Birth certificate
  • Death certificate
  • Marriage certificate
  • if applicable, extracts from the family book or from the civil status register,
  • Identity card.


If you only need the certificate of inheritance for the correction of the land register, you should inform the probate court from the outset. In particular, if the succession is based on a notarial will or contract of inheritance, it may be sufficient if you submit the will/contract of inheritance and the minutes of the probate court on the opening of the will or contract of inheritance instead of the certificate of inheritance. However, if the Land Registry does not consider the succession to be proven by these documents, it may require the submission of a certificate of inheritance.

General information on courts and judicial authorities can also be found on the website of the state government of Schleswig-Holstein

  • §§ 2353 et seq. of the German Civil Code (BGB),
  • Act on the Costs of Voluntary Jurisdiction for Courts and Notaries (Court and Notary Costs Act - GNotKG)
  • §§ 352 et seq. act on proceedings in family matters and in matters of voluntary jurisdiction (FamFG).

Related Links

  • §§ 2353 ff. BGB
  • GNotKG

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