Certificate of inheritance (Erbschein)

The German Certificate of Inheritance (Erbschein) confirms the identity of the heir (Erbe). Should there be more than one heir, the Certificate of Inheritance will identify the respective share of the co-heirs in the estate. Furthermore, the Certificate of Inheritance shows any limitations to the heir's power of disposition over the estate (e.g. subsequent heirship or executorship of the estate). There is a presumption that the person identified as heir in the German Certificate of Inheritance has the right of inheritance stated therein and is not subject to limitations other than those stated. Additionally, § 2366 BGB protects those who acquire an item belonging to the estate from the person named as heir in the German Certificate of Inheritance in good faith. They obtain title even though the transferor is not the true heir, unless they had knowledge of the inaccuracy of the certificate. 


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Glossary

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