As a matter of fact it seems to be the case that your mother inherited part of the house.
If there were no children and her brother inherited something your mother will also have inherited a part. Even if there was a last will there is still the legal share (Pflichtteil) of 50 % of what she would have inherited by law.
Your mother should ask directly your mother's brother for details on the heritage and its commercial value and ask for her share. If this does not work out, she will need the help of a lawyer.
Be aware that in the case of a last will the prescription period for requesting the legal share from the brother is until the end of 2014. By the end of 2014 legal steps before court must have been taken.
My mother is 77yrs old. Her brother was 70 when he died in 2011. He had no children.
The house belonged to him and his wife. Not to any parents. so why would the wife be needing my mother to sign anything.
Is it possible to search for a will in Germany? My mother cannot ask her brother. That is why she is confused and how does she find out if or what was left to her?
You can ask the local court (Amtsgericht Oldenburg Holstein), but this will not help you as she will be able to ask for her legal share anyway.
Ahh, her brother died, too.
Then ask his wife for information.
If you cannot do so, you will need to ask a lawyer.
Don't sign anything without resolving this issue beforehand (if your mother does not desire to give her share as a gift to her brother's wife.
Dear Mr Goetz,I appreciated the advice to contact the Amtsgericht Oldenburg Holstein, which I have done. In my first line I stated that my uncle had "passed away" in July 2011, perhaps I should have said, died.
I still don't know whether it is possible to request a copy of a will?
The widow of my uncle has never told us of a will and it looks like she may be trying to cheat my mother out of an inheritance.
You can ask the Amtsgericht, whether they have registered a last will. However, there i no obligation in Germany to register a last will. Thus, anyone could have made it disappear.
"passed away" should be understood by most German people with basic English from school as in German you could stipulate it in the same way ("dahingeschieden").
Let me know about the answer from the court and please do not forget to rate my service.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).