The real estate in the will

Real estate is one of the most sought-after investments. It is therefore no surprise that houses, apartments and land often form part of the deceased's estate. To ensure that everything runs smoothly after death, experts advise you to consider early on who you would like to bequeath the property to. In doing so, it is important to inform yourself about inheritance law and, depending on your personal wishes and family constellation, to draw up a will.

If you want to bequeath real estate, you can appoint whomever you want as your heir. However, even in the case of real estate, children or spouses receive a compulsory share. This is independent of the testator's will. The compulsory portion is half of the legal inheritance. For example, if a widow with two children dies without leaving a will, the children each automatically inherit half of the property. However, if one of the children has previously been appointed as sole heir in a will, the other child is still entitled to a quarter of the estate value. However, in this case, the heir is only entitled to the money, not the material value.

Handwritten will

If the property is to be bequeathed in a handwritten will, the will is only valid if it is signed. It is recommended that the will be signed with the first name, place and time. The handwritten will may be written in any language, provided that this language is understood by a third person. The handwritten will may be drawn up without the participation of third parties, i.e. witnesses (in particular a notary). Handwritten wills do not have to be kept officially. However, they can be deposited by the testator with a probate court of his or her choice.

Notarial will

As the name suggests, the notarial will is drawn up before a notary or by handing over an open or sealed document to the notary. The notary then draws up a record of this. The notary's fees are based on the amount of assets listed in the notarized will. Since the notarial will is a public document, it has full probative force and thus replaces the certificate of inheritance. Once drawn up by the notary, he or she places the will in official custody with the probate court in the district where his or her office is located. The testator receives the corresponding certificate of deposit. On presentation of the certificate of deposit, he or she can demand the surrender of the will at any time.

Inheritance contract

Like a will, a contract of inheritance is a so-called testamentary disposition in which the estate is to be settled and in which heirs are appointed. In contrast to a will, however, the testator draws up the contract of inheritance together with the heirs. It can only be amended if all the contracting parties agree to it. Conditions are often attached to such inheritance contracts - such as the care of parents or the takeover of the business.

You have inherited a property and are unsure how to proceed with it now? Contact us! We will be happy to advise you.

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Legal Notice: This article does not constitute tax or legal advice in individual cases. Please have the facts of your specific individual case clarified by a lawyer and/or tax advisor.


Photo: © ginasanders/


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