What you need to know about the land register - Part 2: Inheritance

Everyone who owns a property must be registered in the land register. However, few homeowners know why the entries are so important. Incorrect information can have devastating consequences. Therefore, it is important to understand them and use them correctly to avoid unpleasant surprises later on. In our 3-part series on the land register extract, we have summarized everything you need to know.

by Johanna Böhnke

The first part of this series has dealt with the case of divorce. In the end, the separated couple had to sell the house. It was bought by a single woman with two almost grown-up children. Now let's jump a few years into the future: the new owner has died and she did not make a will. Since she remained unmarried, her children inherit in equal shares. This also applies to the property. While the daughter would like to move into her mother's house, her brother would rather sell his share.

The community of heirs

Now one would like to believe that the son can simply sell his share to his sister, but it is not that simple. This is because the two heirs initially form a community of heirs who can only dispose of the house jointly. In order to change this, the two must draw up a dissolution agreement or inheritance settlement agreement and have it notarized.

The inheritance settlement

This contract specifies the sum with which the heiress of the house must pay her brother. To do this, it is important to know the value of the property. The two of them have this determined by a real estate expert. All debts or mortgages that still have to be paid off must also be included. After all, this is also recorded in the land register and will be passed on to the new owner. In our example, the house is the only valuable part of the inheritance, since the mother did not have large sums of money or other valuable possessions. If that had been the case, her two heirs could also have decided to divide the various possessions between themselves in the inheritance settlement agreement.

The change of the land register entry

The daughter can raise the appropriate amount. But before she becomes the sole owner of the house, she has to have the land register entry changed. The deceased mother is still entered there as the owner. In Germany, heirs have two years to change the land register entry free of charge. A later change is possible, but subject to a fee. In order for this change to be made, the inheritance claim must be proven. For this purpose, the heirs have a certificate of inheritance issued. In cases where a will is available, this is also valid as legitimation - provided that the claim to ownership is clear from it. In our scenario, the new owner will also submit the dissolution agreement in order to be entered in the land register on her own.

You have inherited a house and would like to sell it? Contact us now, we will be happy to assist you.

Photo: © sasun1990

 

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