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hhvgoetz, Rechtsanwalt, LL.M.
Category: German Law
Satisfied Customers: 2918
Experience:  LL.M. in International Trade Law (Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)
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The country is Germany. Mother and Father have a daughter

Customer Question

The country is Germany, state of Bavaria (Greuther Furth). Mother and Father have a daughter and then divorce. Mother then remarries another individual and daughter lives with mother and "step-dad". Mother and step-dad have a son. Step-dad never adopts daughter. Step-dad is now on his deathbed and asks to adopt daughter. Step-dad states if this happens once he dies mother will receive 50% of the estate (land property), son 25% and daughter 25%. If the daughter is not adopted daughter receives a 5000Euro payment with no percentage. Originally daughter was a German citizen. Daughter is now an American citizen. The daughter did grow up through her childhood years with the step-dad and not the paternal father. 1. Does the daughter have any inheritance rights? 2. Does the daughter have to be adopted to have inheritance rights? 3. If the daughter wishes to be adopted does that affect citizenship? 4. Is there any recourse if the daughter would like a percentage of property in Germany?

Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: German Law
Expert:  hhvgoetz replied 4 years ago.



it's the free will of the stepfather to decide whether his stepdaughter will receive anything.


Adoption has the disadavantage that it takes some time, if you cannot prove the close relation between the 2. However, this should be possible if both have been living in the same house for a considerable time in a "familiy".

There is the risk of death before concluding adoption. Advantage is that in Germany 400000 Euros are free of inheritance tax (instead of only 20000). Thus, the stepfather would be throwing money out of the windows in giving the daughter a lot of money or other assets without adoption.


Of course it would be possible to modify the last will (testament) without adoption so that the daughter receives a greater part of the assets. This is no problem as long as the miminum inhertance (Pflichtteil) of the other parties who would inherit without any last will are respected.


The stepfather should call a notary because in any case (also adoption) it will be necessary.


If the stepfather has a lot of assets and no considerable depths, as stepdaughter I wouldn't hesitate too long to accept adoption although her family name would change (which in case of a married person using her husband's surname wouldn't be a too great sacrifice).