Undue Influence (unzulässige Beeinflussung)

The concept of undue influence does not exist in German law. However, German law has legal institutions that serve similar functions and purposes as undue influence in common law jurisdictions. Such legal institutions include

  • violation of public policy (§ 138 BGB), e.g. because a (recently appointed) guardian unrelated to the testator abuses his/her position to convince his ward to name him sole heir his will; 
  • lack of capacity to make a Will (§ 2229 BGB), e.g. due to the mental inability to resist wishes of interested parties;
  • violation of mandatory prohibitions (§ 134 BGB), e.g. the prohibition on the receipt of testamentary gifts by the managers or employers of nursing homes from their residents (Heimgesetz) or by doctors who have the status of a government official (§§ 43 BRRG, 70 BBG);
  • duress (§ 2078 BGB); and
  • error (§ 2078 BGB). 

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