Hereditary Patrimony

What is the hereditary estate?

The estate is the property, i.e. the totality of the legal relations of the deceased, which passes to the heir in its entirety as inheritance upon the death of the deceased. According to the prevailing opinion, the estate includes not only the rights but also the debts of the deceased (the so-called estate liabilities), which are generally payable by the heirs. Our lawyers specializing in inheritance law in Frankfurt will be happy to advise you on any questions that may arise in matters of inheritance.

What is included in the estate?

The estate includes all hereditary, i.e. predominantly patrimonial rights and obligations, such as property, other real and personal rights, claims, but also property, commercial business with your company, industrial property rights, as well as compensation for damages. Especially if you are not sure what is to be classified as estate, our lawyers specialized in inheritance law in Frankfurt will help you to make the correct classification. The estate includes neither hereditary rights, i.e. the very personal legal relationships of the deceased, such as membership rights, insofar as they are not predominantly patrimonial. Also usufruct, limited personal servitude, maintenance claims with the exception of arrears, family law education, administration and usufruct, as well as the body of the deceased. If you have further questions on these topics, our attorneys specializing in inheritance law in Frankfurt will be pleased to advise you.

What is the difference between an estate and an inheritance?

Estate is synonymous with inheritance. In common parlance, inheritance is also called legacy. In any case, our lawyers specializing in inheritance law in Frankfurt are at your side as competent partners.

How can one’s own estate be liquidated?

One’s own estate is regulated by testamentary dispositions by cause of death. These are wills, inheritance contracts and gifts on account of death. Our Frankfurt lawyers are always available to advise you on any questions you may have.

What is digital inheritance?

Digital inheritance refers to all legal relationships that are digitally related. As lawyers specializing in inheritance law in Frankfurt, we are also familiar with these developments. These are, in particular, accounts on Google, Facebook, Twitter and XING. The increasing digitization and use of these new social media has given rise to the question of whether the heirs are entitled to access these accounts of the deceased. Such questions are also of interest to our Frankfurt inheritance lawyers. In its judgment of 17 December 2015 (Case No. 20 O 172/15), the Berlin Regional Court provided an answer to very many of the currently debated questions raised by digital inheritance and accordingly granted the community of heirs the right of access. It remains to be seen whether this will continue to be the case in the future by changing the general terms and conditions of social platforms. Our lawyers specializing in inheritance law closely follow current developments in order to be able to offer reliable advice at the highest level.

How is the inheritance divided among the heirs?

In principle, the division is made according to the inheritance share. Unlike marriage, the community of heirs is designed to be divided. Therefore, each of the heirs has the duty to cooperate in the division. In order for everything to run according to the correct rules during this division, it makes a lot of sense to have the professional support of a lawyer for inheritance law in Frankfurt. In principle, the actual division applies. If this is not possible, there remains the liquidation, i.e. the sale of the movable assets after satisfaction of all liabilities. A division plan will be successful if only monetary assets remain to be divided. If one of the heirs refuses to participate in the settlement, there is always the possibility of a judicial execution in the probate court. This requires the knowledge and experience of a Frankfurt probate lawyer. All too often, the theoretical rules of the game are incorrectly applied in practice during the settlement of an inheritance. Even if the active co-heir has done everything correctly, there is a risk that he or she will have to share the settlement costs caused by the inactive co-heir. So that no mistakes are made in this division, it makes sense to have one of our lawyers specializing in inheritance law in Frankfurt accompany you through the process.

What can be deducted from the inheritance?

Estate liabilities must be deducted from the active estate. However, not all liabilities are deductible. As a layman, it is often not easy to make this distinction yourself. Our lawyers specializing in inheritance law in Frankfurt will be happy to help you. For example, while burial expenses are inheritance liabilities, broader grave maintenance expenses are not inheritance liabilities. If one of the heirs refuses to withhold an amount of money to cover grave maintenance when the inheritance account is divided, the other co-heirs will not be able to successfully object to this. In cases where you are not sure what can be deducted from the estate, it makes sense to contact one of our inheritance law attorneys for advice in Frankfurt.

How can the actual estate be determined?

The question of the inheritance left by the deceased often arises. The banks will not provide any information if the status of heir is not accredited, i.e. if the inheritance certificate is presented. Real estate cannot be determined the first time either. Without an inheritance certificate, no progress can be made on this point. Therefore, a certificate of inheritance must be applied for at the competent probate court immediately after the status of the inheritance is known. To ensure that no mistakes are made in this application process, it makes sense to seek the support of a lawyer specializing in inheritance law in Frankfurt.

What are dispositions of inheritance?

Inheritance dispositions are the exercise of property rights, i.e., for example, the sale of property or the withdrawal of funds from the deceased’s account.    

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