Settlement of inheritance, division of estate, right to a compulsory portion

Settlement of inheritance

Once an inheritance case has arisen, a number of questions need to be clarified and important steps taken. Our lawyers specialising in inheritance law will be happy to advise you on this. We support you in the fulfilment of all legal requirements – from applying for a certificate of inheritance to the distribution of the estate to the heirs. By adopting a client-orientated and forward-looking approach, conflicts can be avoided in a targeted manner to ensure that the will of the testator is fully respected.

Division of estates

The term “division of an estate” refers to the dissolution of a community of heirs through division. This is always relevant when several people inherit a deceased person together – the heirs then form a community of heirs. Within the community of heirs, each of the co-heirs has a certain share of the total estate. Accordingly, the participation does not take place in the individual items of the estate. Unless otherwise agreed between the co-heirs, these must therefore be sold and the profit divided according to the shares.

By law, the community of heirs is not designed to last for a certain period of time, but is geared towards settlement from the outset. Each co-heir is entitled to the settlement of the community of heirs.

We would be happy to advise you on the subject of inheritance disputes. For example, we will work with you to draft an inheritance settlement agreement that precisely regulates the procedure in each individual case. Tax aspects in particular need to be taken into account here, which our experts always keep an eye on.

If an amicable solution cannot be found within the community of heirs, our inheritance law solicitors will also be happy to assist you with the sale of the estate assets and the distribution of the profit according to the shares. Legal action is also possible – in this case, we will of course represent your interests effectively before the courts.

Right to a compulsory portion

The constitutionally enshrined freedom to make a will grants everyone the right to freely determine the distribution of their assets after death. Nevertheless, this right is also subject to certain restrictions that must be taken into account: certain persons are legally protected in a special way by a minimum entitlement to the inheritance. In this respect, there is protection against disinheritance. The person entitled to a compulsory portion is entitled to this claim if they have been excluded from the succession by a will.

The spouse and the next of kin, i.e. parents and descendants of the deceased, are entitled to such compulsory portions. The right to a compulsory portion is not directly related to the assets of the estate, but is to be fulfilled by the heirs through payment in cash.

We will be happy to advise you on the extent to which you need to take any compulsory portion claims into account in your personal estate planning in order to prevent potential disputes between your heirs and those entitled to a compulsory portion. On the other hand, our lawyers specialising in inheritance law are of course also available to assist you in enforcing your own compulsory portion claims.

In addition to the right to a compulsory portion itself, the law also provides for the so-called right to a supplementary compulsory portion. This protects those entitled to a compulsory portion during the testator’s lifetime against the testator deliberately reducing his or her estate by making gifts to other persons. Our competent lawyers will of course also be happy to advise you on this.