Waiver of rights over future inheritance (Erbverzicht)

Under German law, relatives and the spouse of the testator may waive their future inheritance rights by contractual agreement with the decedent during the latter’s lifetime. The person waiving is excluded from intestate succession as though he had no longer been alive at the time of the devolution of the inheritance; he does not have a right to the forced share. See § 2346(1) BGB. The waiver may be restricted to the right to the forced share (Pflichtteil). See § 2346 (2) BGB (Pflichtteilsverzicht). To be effective, the contract of waiver must be notarized by a German notary (Notar) or equivalent. See § 2348 BGB. The agreement to waive future rights of inheritance (Erbverzicht) is usually, but not necessarily, linked to the payment of compensation. This compensation is subject to German gift tax