Property regime of community of accrued gains (Zugewinngemeinschaft)

Spouses, that are married under German law  (see Council Regulation 2016/1103) live under the (default) marital property regime of community of accrued gains (Zugewinngemeinschaft) if they do not agree otherwise by notarized marriage contract.Despite its name, the "community of accrued gains" regime the property of the spouses before marriage does not become the common property or community property. The same applies to property that one spouse acquires after marriage. However, the gains accrued during the time of marriage are equalized when the community of accrued gains ends (e.g. by death or by divorce judgment). A gift or inheritance does not increase the value of a spouses assets for calculation of the other spouses equalization claim. In case of intestacy, the gains are equalized by augmenting the intestate share of the surviving spouse by ¼ of the estate,

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